Today I’m starting a new segment on my blog. I might change it up some day, but for now I’m going to try to do one per week. Basically, I will find a movie that I have not seen on Netflix, watch it, then give my thoughts on it afterwards in the same post. I’ll start by introducing the film I’m going to see, perhaps talk about why I haven’t seen it yet, and my expectations. I’m interested to see how this works out, so let me know.
The first movie I will be seeing is Silver Linings Playbook. This movie came out in 2012, I remember hearing about it during the Oscars, and if I remember correctly, Jennifer Lawrence won an Oscar for her performance. She also tripped on her way up to the stage. So I’ve known about this movie since it came out, but it had always screamed “chick flick” to me so I stayed away from it. My mom really wanted to see it, and from what I observed, mostly the female audience was interested in seeing this. Recently, I’ve heard recommendations from some of my male friends, saying that it was actually a good movie. This was enough for me. I like the cast and director so I’ve decided to check it out. I also know Robert De Niro is in it. I’m pretty sure it is about the complicated or dysfunctional relationship between Lawrence and Bradley Cooper. That is what it was advertised as. Short of that I have no idea what happens in the movie. I haven’t heard much about it at all in terms of plot. That is what I think will be fun about this. I can give my predictions of a movie, and in the same post I’ll give my thoughts right after watching it.
Here I will stop, watch the movie, come back to this same post, and talk about what I thought about Silver Linings Playbook.
The end. I’ve just finished Silver Linings Playbook, and I now wish I had watched it when it first came out, because I liked it quite a bit.
If I had say one thing that I thought this movie did best, and what I liked the most, I would say it was how every one of the characters felt real. Their dialogue didn’t feel scripted, it was delivered honestly, and was very relateable. I believed the issues that both Cooper and Lawrence had. Even though they were mentally ill, I could relate to their situation and how they interacted with others. Even the supporting cast like Cooper’s parents played by De Niro and Jacki Weaver were excellent. I just now saw that both of them were nominated for Oscars too. With all the accolades this film was nominated for, I’m surprised and a little disappointed that I didn’t see it till now.
In a lot of movies like this, the focus is almost completely on the two main characters and their story. What I thought this movie did really well was put just as much care and development into all of its supporting characters. Each one had a great story and dynamic that fit well into the film. The weakest for me was Weaver however, because she was just there as a reactionary character. Her performance wasn’t bad by any means but she didn’t have a lot to do in the movie. Though I did enjoy the humor when everyone in the house, including De Niro with his gambling, is acting crazy and she is the only sane person trying to keep everyone else from going insane.
This is not a chick flick. I does have elements of one, but for the most part the typical cliches are left out. None of these characters were glorified. You don’t necessarily root for them the whole time and you don’t know if it will all work out in the end. The last ten minutes or so did have a Hollywood ending, but I didn’t mind it as much as I normally do because I actually believed them. Cooper and Lawrence had phenomenal chemistry. They worked so well together. I didn’t think the movie really picked up until they started sharing screen time.
David O. Russell also had an interesting style in directing this film. He pans in and out of shots in many scenes, really getting you involved in the characters. It also looked very good and was shot beautifully. Not just Jennifer Lawrence either. Just like in The Fighter and American Hustle, O. Russell makes beautiful movies that you wouldn’t expect from the kinds of movies he makes. He is a director that I am paying a lot of attention to because he has made some very good films.
Since I took so long to finally see this movie, I’d say the silver lining for me is that in the future, I’ll be more welcoming towards a movie that I’m not initially interested in.