Silver Linings Playbook Blu-ray Review
It’s not hard to see why “Silver Linings Playbook” garnered multiple awards.
“Silver Linings Playbook,” based on Matthew Quick’s book of the same name, is a story about mental illness, football, family, love, heartbreak, change, and dancing. The two characters at the center of this tale are Pat and Tiffany. Pat (who is diagnosed with bi-polar disorder) has recently been released from a mental health institute after he nearly beat the man who cheated on his wife to death. After that incident, he lost his wife and his teaching job. Now, he’s living back at home and is trying to get his wife back even though she has no interest in getting back together. Tiffany, meanwhile, is a jobless, sex addicted widower who is still coming to terms with the loss of her husband. Both Pat and Tiffany are a bit lost in life as they struggle to move forward. Their lives change, however, when the two meet and begin to develop a friendship (and possibly something more). Can Pat and Tiffany heal each other’s wounds? Will the two characters fall in love?
Fresh off “The Fighter,” writer/director David O. Russell offers up another dramedy about dysfunctional east coast families. This one, however, is centered around mental illness and not boxing. Despite the serious subject matter (which is taken very seriously), the film is not a depressing affair. David O. Russell injects a lot of humor into the quirky characters without ever making light of the character’s problems. As anyone knows, life is a series of ups and downs and Russell definitely plays the story realistically in that regard.
On the subject of realism, the chemistry and romance between Pat and Tiffany is what truly makes the film work. So often in cinema, relationships and romance feel so forced and phony. In ‘Playbook,’ the relationship between the two lead characters feels earned. For the entire running time, you’re rooting for Pat and Tiffany to not only wind up together, but for the characters to get their lives in order. So, when the ending rolls around, viewers are truly hoping that things turn out well for these characters.
Impressive script aside, it’s the acting again that carries the film (which seems to be a common occurrence these days). Bradley Cooper gives the finest performance of his career thus far as the temperamental, intense, and heartbroken Pat. Likewise, Jennifer Lawrence also shines as Tiffany, but that’s nothing new if you’ve followed her career for the past several years. After languishing in cheap direct to DVD titles and horrendous Hollywood comedies, Robert De Niro finally gives another great performance that we all knew he was capable of giving again. Jacki Weaver, who somehow earned an Oscar nomination here, is fine as Pat’s mother, but she doesn’t have much to do overall. Chris Tucker, who hadn’t been in a film since 2007’s “Rush Hour 3,” also somehow gives the best performance of his career as Pat’s friend from the mental health institute. He’s not over the top as he is in the “Rush Hour” films or “The Fifth Element.” Instead, he is rather quirky and amusing in a small supporting role.
The film, which is presented in 2.40:1 1080p, has a very grainy and moody look to it. It’s a very distinct and purposeful cinematography style that works to its advantage.
The 5.1 DTSHD-MA audio track delivers everything from sharp sounding songs to sharp sounding shouting (of which there is a lot in this film).
* Digital copy and Ultraviolet copy.
* Anchor Bay/The Weinstein Company trailers.
* 17 deleted scenes including an alternate ending.
* “Dance Rehearsal”- Footage of Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper rehearsing dances.
* “Going Steadicam With Bradley Cooper”- Brief footage of Bradey Cooper shooting Jennifer Lawrence with a steadicam.
* “Silver Linings Playbook: The Movie That Became A Movement”- A featurette that contains cast/crew interviews, information about the novel the film is based on, Russell describing how this is a personal project, discussions about mental illness and the characters etc.
* “Q&A Highlights”- 27 minutes of various Q&A sessions with David O. Russell, Robert De Niro, Paul Herman, Bruce Cohen, Bradley Cooper, Jay Cassidy, and Danny Elfman making appearances. Discussions range from acting to the source material.
* “Learn To Dance Like Pat And Tiffany”- Choreographer Mandy Moore (no, not that Mandy Moore) teaches a few dance moves from the film.
Summary: “Silver Linings Playbook” is an emotionally rewarding film that boasts great acting. Definitely worth seeing.
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