Silver Linings Playbook: Another Hit in 2012

Silver Linings Playbook is another award-worthy 2012 film. I saw a preview of it last night at the Museum of Modern Art, after which director David O. Russell had a conversation with two moderators. (For whatever reason there was no Q&A.)

Jennifer Lawrence was the real surprise for me. If you’re like me and all you know her from is X-Men: First Class (sorry, Hunger Games fans), you’ll be really blown away by her performance in Playbook. Her character has a vibrancy and firecracker quality that I haven’t seen from a new young actress in quite some time. Bradley Cooper also gives an excellent performance. The two of them have great chemistry and shine in their dancing scenes.

Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver do fantastic work as Cooper’s parents. De Niro has one of his best acting showcases in years. Weaver’s American accent isn’t perfect, but she’s always so enjoyable to watch that I didn’t mind much. Paul Herman, whom you might recognize from a number of Woody Allen and Martin Scorsese films, has a nice little role as Randy, one of De Niro’s bookmaking pals. I didn’t see a point to Chris Tucker’s character, except for one or two bits of advice he gives Cooper and Lawrence regarding their dance rehearsals. Otherwise, the comedic aspects of Tucker’s character didn’t work well.

All in all, it’s a fine film that deserves to be seen.

The MoMA film entrance, post-film. Shot from outside, looking in through the window with the curtains drawn.

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