“Silver Linings Playbook” is loaded with Oscar potential, thanks to an original concept and great performances by an all star cast. Bradley Cooper plays Philadelphian Pat Solitano, a bi-polar divorcee, just released from an institution, serving time for a violent incident, with hopes of rekindling the relationship with his ex, in spite of a restraining order. He returns to his chaotic family home with his mother the Oscar nominated Jackie Weaver (fantastic in “Animal Kingdom”, she loses her Australian accent for a Phillie one), greeted by his bookie dad, Pat Sr. (a terrific Robert Deniro), who lives, eats, and breathes betting on Philadelphia sports teams, his only connection with Pat Jr. is as a good luck charm. Cooper meets up with a neighbor, Tiffany Maxwell, played by magnificent Jennifer Lawrence. She’s a cop’s wife, a recently widowed sex addict with a wicked tongue, who’s decided ballroom dancing will be her salvation. She takes an interest in — as they spar and joist with great comic timing. She says she can pass his notes to his ex, skirting the law, but in return, he’ll have to become her dance partner in an upcoming competition. Cooper is brilliant, his best work yet, and Jennifer Lawrence can seemingly do no wrong. Look for Oscar nods for both and possible supporting nods for Deniro and Weaver. Director and screenwriter David O. Russell, does a masterful job of capturing the chaos of the Solitano clan, and avoiding most of the cliches connected with family drama, fashioning a true Dramedy, with equal parts heartbreak, and slapstick. “The Silver Lining Playbook” is a winning bet.
My GPA: 4.0