It is a rarity, but it is nothing short of stupendous when a film exponentially gets better and better; David O. Russell’s (“The Fighter”) rocks the charts with this winner. Anticipation eliminated: “Silver Linings Playbook” garnishes five sterling STARS!!!!! I loved it.
From its tragic-comic commencement: “Pat Solitano” (herculean performance by Bradley Cooper) is picked up from a stint in a mental institution; he went berserk after discovering the infidelity of his wife with a fellow teacher; his mother “Dolores” (quiet, sensitive, masterful performance by Jackie Weaver, “Animal Kingdom”) gingerly brings him home to “Pat, Sr.” (Robert De Niro is pungently powerful as the obsessive, superstitious Philadelphia Eagles fan); from one raucous moment to the next, Pat’s life is a cacophony of unexpected experiences; disjointed, misinterpreted dialogues with friends and strangers; lacerating honesty springs from his uninhibited mind; his inhibitions, boundaries have vanished; what spews off his tongue results in hilarious “truisms” that perpetually hit the bulls- eye on the reality scale.
The plot soars and sizzles when he meets “Tiffany” (Jennifer Lawrence at twenty-two has hermetically cornered stardom; palpable genius shimmering on the screen) a wounded –widow, with the “mouth” of a stevedore and a will molded by devastation, she’s a force that “Pat”, bereft of innate defenses, challenges, but any victory, pyrrhic.
“Silver Linings Playbook” is profound in addressing life’s cruel interruptions: loss of the known, love, and self; wounds heal but scars remain sacred, reminders of what’s past but not determining, forecasting the future. Resonating with redemption, every character evolves, wordless introspectiveness morphs into rejuvenated, revived genuinely likeable even loveable individuals; striving, struggling within their natural sphere, all achieving their “personal best”.
Minor roles by Anupam Kher, Julia Stiles, Chris Tucker gift layer upon layer of rollicking richness to this fine, joyously entertaining, uplifting film: signifying everything; leaving, believing the silver lining was always there, within reach, illusive but attainable.