Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Silver Linings Playbook (2012)

Sigh...once again great expectations have poisoned a movie experience for me.  All the hype and Oscar nominations, and director David O. Russell's previous record had me expecting more than a sloppy feel-good comedy/drama.  Stars Bradley Cooper as a guy just out of the booby hatch for nearly beating to death the guy who was screwing his wife (a guy with anger issues, it's easy to see why Russell was attracted to Matthew Quick's novel).  He finds peace of mind and happiness by watching football games with his father (Robert DeNiro) and entering a dance competition with the neighborhood "slut" (Jennifer Lawrence, who has two fantastic scenes, enough to justify her Oscar win).

Russell's Three Kings and I Heart Huckabees are dazzling movies, but after those ambitious projects, he seems to have become just a regular, good, overpraised director.  Russell's volatile reputation, the tumult behind the scenes of Kings and Huckabees, plus the abandonment of the unfinished Nailed, seems to have prompted him to play nice and by the rules just to stay working.  Silver Linings Playbook and The Fighter play it safe, and he's rewarded with big box office and glowing reviews, of course.

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