Alan Steinfeld (208)
“It is never too late to be who you may have been. ~ George Elliot
Alan Steinfeld is founder of NewRealities. In this blog he reflects on famliy, personal insights, his current spiritual investigations and his guest appearance's on programs as he talks about his ideas about NewRealities...
Looking at the Edge of a Cloud
The-Silver-Linings-Playbook: film review by Alan Steinfeld
A silly name for what might have been a silly movie. As a quirky piece of cheeky drama, the film walks that edge between humor and pathos. It starts out with Pat Solitano, the Bradley Cooper character, being release from a psych ward, after having a mental breakdown when discovering his wife having an affair with a fellow school teacher.
Cooper is fast becoming a popular figure in today’s cinema landscape. Here he adds some subtle comic undertones to his past down and out leading man performances and gives us an impulsive quasi- psychotic edge. But his sort of disturbing character and some of the hand held camera work are both bothersome at first the film, until the settles into stride when Bradley arrives home to be confronted with his fanatical Philadelphia Eagle fan of a bookmaking father, Pat senor, as played by Robert De Niro. It is De Niro’s familiar presence, although in a supportive role, that gives us a well rounded depth of character. This is a more developed person than his bully father Jack of the Ben Still Focker movies. His superstitious neurosis and insensitive sensitivities is another beautifully crafted performance by one of America’s greats. De Niro’s gives one of his best comic performances since Analyze This with Billie Crystal. Here we see all that intense soft sensitive side that has made him one of America’s greatest since the 1970s. It is no Taxi Driver, but what is? The seriously playful De Niro loosens up the audience into relaxing into this jittery sort of tongue and cheek romp.
But the picture doesn’t really come alive until its most brilliant star rises on the screen. OMG! Jennifer Lawrence does it again. She gives another truly outstanding performers, as good as her Oscar nominting premier performane
as the underage Appalcian heroine in Winter Bone. Here as the loose cannon female, she is well matched to Cooper’s loose cannon male. Well.... they find each other, run from each other, push each other away and finally make a deal to support each of their castle in the sky agendas. Lawrence talks Cooper into being her dance partner in a Philadelphia city wide competition. Cooper agrees, but only if she can help him get back together with his estranged wife, who he hasn’t seen since he battered her lover, when finding them together in the shower. Disturbing their partnership are the constant demands of Copper’s gambling father trying to win enough book making money on the Eagles to build the restaurant of his dreams.
The Cooper/ Lawrence character chemistry takes center stage in a tense and delightful way. The arch of both characters gives the audience the ride of an almost romance. We see the pain of their past continually sabotaging this possibilities.
Despite the annoying initial cloudy direction of David O. Russell, and watching the leads ongoing dark cloud of angst and desperation the final resolution will leave you bright and shining. Although the mediocre story may seem a bit overcast-ed at first, stay with it, for it definitely has a silver lining, well worth more than the price of admission.
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