Review: 'Silver Linings Playbook' is full of greatness

By Gary Wolcott, atomictown.comJanuary 17, 2013 

Finally. Silver Linings Playbook is going wide-release. The producers are letting us see a film that was originally scheduled for wider-release more than a month ago. With a movie this good, it's hard to understand why they waited.

Bradley Cooper (The Hangover) is Pat. He's out of the mental institution after beating up his wife's lover. Pat realizes he's a little over the top and wants to reconcile. He forms a unique friendship with Jennifer Lawrence's (The Hunger Games) Tiffany. She's a young widow with unique sexual problems.

Pat's family is dysfunctional. Dad -- Robert De Niro -- is obsessive-compulsive and has a sports gambling operation. His mom done nicely by Animal Kingdom's Jackie Weaver plays peacemaker.

Director David O. Russell (The Fighter) is a great writer and storyteller. You grow to know and love these characters on a level rarely seen in film. While the supporting actors are important and excellent, and fill in side stories nicely, it is Cooper and Lawrence who give the movie its energy and the story its momentum.

Cooper's performance sits nicely on a manic edge of sanity. The moments where he loses control are as funny as they are alarming. Lawrence keeps her character's struggle inward. Occasionally you're given a glimpse of her panic and pain. Together they are exceptional and it's impossible not to root for them.

Silver Linings Playbook got four Golden Globe nominations and almost doubled that for the Oscars: best picture, best director, best actor, best actress, best supporting actor and actress and adapted screenplay.

The movie is worth the hype. Silver Linings Playbook is my pick as the best flick of 2012. It is the second-best-written film of the year, the best storytelling, and the acting is mind-boggling good. Give me the Oscar picks, and it wins in every nominated category.

Director: David O. Russell

Stars: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert Di Niro, Jackie Weaver, Chris Tucker

Mr. Movie rating: 5 stars

Rated R for mature themes, language. It is playing at Regal's Columbia Center 8, the Fairchild Cinemas 12 and at Walla Walla Grand Cinemas.

5 stars to 4 1/2 stars: Must see on the big screen
4 stars to 3 1/2 stars: Good film, see it if it's your type of movie.
3 stars to 2 1/2 stars: Wait until it comes out on DVD.
2 stars to 1 star: Don't bother.
0 stars: Speaks for itself.

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