Silver Linings Playbook

Silver Linings Playbook

Directed by: David O. Russell
122 minutes

New England Premiere

From the eccentric imagination of writer-director David O. Russell comes this comedy about coming back from losing it all. Based on Matthew Quick’s novel, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK is an audaciously funny examination of one man’s recovery from a personal and professional meltdown, with the help of parents, football, literature and an attractively strange neighbor.

Things have gotten bad for Pat (Bradley Cooper). A substitute history teacher who was cuckolded by his wife and co-worker, Pat beat the hell out of the other man and subsequently lost his job, his marriage, his house, and, temporarily, his freedom, when he was confined to a state institution for eight months on a plea bargain. Released and living back at home with his parents (Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver), Pat is maniacally determined to restart his life fresh, maintain positivity, and reunite with his wife. Pat’s parents, meanwhile, just want him to ease back into things—and focus his energies on rooting for the Philadelphia Eagles, their favourite football team and a source of near-religious significance in their lives. Then Pat befriends Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a mysterious young widow who offers to help him patch things up with his wife—if Pat will do her a little favour in return.

Quirky yet utterly accessible, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK is a wonderful showcase for Cooper, who gives an uncommonly mature, nuanced performance that is miles away from The Hangover. Cooper’s co-stars shine as well: De Niro is in top comic form as a superstitious über-fan, Lawrence is nothing short of dazzling in her endearing yet darkly kooky role, and Chris Tucker pops up as the object of a hilarious running gag. One of the greatest pleasures of SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK is Russell’s palpable affection for awkwardness. In Russell’s world, idiosyncrasies are not be conquered; they’re to be embraced.

—Toronto International Film Festival notes