Long before the idea of this exercise came to existence, late in the summer I made a push to attempt to go to more movies (usually alone *sob*) one of which was The Master. While my friends were genuinely perplexed by the contents of that film (I sort of understood it, at least have my own interpretation of it that I might share in a future post), I was too busy thinking “this is the kind of stuff the Academy usually eats up”. One of the movies previewed before that screening was Silver Linings Playbook, which conversely I did not think so highly of based on its trailer.
Silver Linings Playbook is about a teacher, Pat (Bradley Cooper) with bipolar disorder acclimating to home life after being released from a mental institution. The incident that caused him to be committed was catching his wife having sex with another teacher in the shower while listening to their wedding song and then beating the man to near death. He comes home to find that his wife Nikki has moved away and his father is betting on Eagles games to earn money to open his dream restaurant. While reconnecting with his friends, he is invited to dinner where he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), who has quite a few problems of her own. After her husband was killed in a car accident, she began to sleep around with coworkers and was recently fired from her job as a result.
The relationship between Pat and Tiffany seems contentious at first being a battle of who believes who is crazier (at the dinner they compared experiences with various anti-depressants), but they quickly realize that being around each other will ease their recovery even if Pat’s having a hard time accepting Nikki is long gone. It feeds his mantra of everything having a silver lining, his new favorite word is even ‘excelsior’, he’s fully committed to being the best version of Pat possible. The only hope he has is that Pat and Nikki are still tied to a piece of paper saying they’re husband and wife, even though the promises recited during the exchange of vows have been broken.
I think my favorite thing about this movie is that it’s far from your typical corny love story. As tender as the moments of joy can be, the film is very rough. Every character is bat shit insane to a degree (my brother thinks the mother is the only sane character, but I think something must be really fucked up with her to deal with her family), but for the most part they’re united by their desire to see Pat get his life back together. I’m glad I finally got the chance to see the movie that Bret Easton Ellis has been campaigning for Best Picture for the last 5 months. So when it comes to premature Oscar picks don’t take my word for it. Silver Linings Playbook 8 nominations, The Master 3 (not in the running for best picture). I’ll leave it to BEE:
Don’t trust me on movies since “Silver Linings Playbook” and “Magic Mike” are my two favorite films of 2012. Trust yourselves and just go…
— Bret Easton Ellis (@BretEastonEllis) November 23, 2012