Philly, Football and Rooting for Silver Linings Playbook

Misfortune and a fake happy family bring Lawrence and Cooper together in Silver Linings Playbook

Misfortune and a fake happy family bring Lawrence and Cooper together in Silver Linings Playbook

David O. Russell’s Philly based adaptation of Matthew Quick’s witty and dramatic rom-com novel, Silver Linings Playbook, is exactly the type of misfit-misfortune-filled movie you want to root for.  It’s a film where, refreshingly, everyone is playing against type.

Bradley Cooper (a smug comedic performer I typically loathe) is in the lead role of Pat, a rage-fueled bipolar man who is freshly released from the loony bin after a violent incident with his wife’s lover.  Pat speaks in self-help platitudes, but there’s a sincerity in his desire to change as he dedicates himself to losing weight, keeping his anger in check, getting back his wife (delusionally so) and finding life’s silver lining.  Cooper, surprisingly, pulls it off, and one has to wonder if the Philly native saw this as his first opportunity to dig deep.  Cooper saw a moment in his career to make a change, and he took it.  It makes his character and performance extremely likable.

Jennifer Lawrence – who has made quite the name for herself playing tough teenage girls forced to grow up too fast to save their families in films like Winter’s Bone and The Hunger Games – is for the first time given the chance to play an adult as Tiffany, the damaged young widow of a cop who fumbles through her conflicted feelings and need for affection and friendship and forms an instant bond with Pat when they share unfiltered and awkward barbs about their predicaments and commiserate on their litany of medication diets that have thus far been unsuccessful in curing them of their brand of “crazy.”  Lawrence shines in the role and shows us a side previously unknown…playful, vulnerable, sassy, witty and darkly comedic.  Continue reading

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81st Annual Academy Awards Predictions and Drinking Game

 

The 81st Annual Academy Awards aired Sunday Night, February 22, 2009. Below were my predictions for the winners in the major categories. The actual winners were filled in after the Oscars were announced.

Well, the telecast was a shoddily edited, over-directed, over-hyped painful bore to sit through — oh wait, that was Slumdog Millionaire — and there were no major surprises, though a-typical host Hugh Jackman was quasi-funny with his opening number in a weird I-had-no-idea-he-was-so-THEATRICAL!  kind of way.  But really, Academy, if you have any good sense left, bring back a comedian host next year.  I want to laugh, not cringe while watching Hollywood pat itself on the back. 

At any rate, it’s a miracle I was able to stay awake to tally that I scored 18 correct out of 24 in my predictions, which obliterated everyone else in my Oscar pool and is a new personal best topping my 17 correct predictions two years ago…when movies were still good. Continue reading