David O. Russell’s The Silver Linings Playbook is riding a wave of positive buzz, following its People’s Choice Award win at the Toronto International Film Festival. The new trailer dives into protagonist Pat Solitano’s (Bradley Cooper) misconceived attempt to reintegrate himself into everyday life and reconcile with his unfaithful wife (Brea Bree) after spending eight months in a state institution.
Mark Wahlberg as Mickey Ward in Russell’s The Fighter was the calm center at the heart of the stormy Ward clan, which was a refreshingly non-sugar coated representation of lower-class America. Pat, by comparison, is a source of trouble for his parents (Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver); though, the Solitanos still look and feel as authentic as the Wards, bringing order to their chaotic lives through an affection for the Philadelphia Eagles.
The trailers for Silver Linings Playbook tease Pat’s dysfunctional antics, such as a 4 a.m. rant about the conclusion to A Farewell to Arms. It’s a funny scene working on two levels of symbolism: 1) Pat, seeking signs that his own quest for a happy ending isn’t in vain, has no patience for Ernest Hemingway’s morose outlook and 2) Rusell, the storyteller, expressing his own disinterest in sad endings for the sake of reflecting a bleak existential worldview, as he has throughout his previous films (Three Kings, I Heart Huckabees, and The Fighter).
It’s after this point that the ‘silver lining’ is presented: Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), an emotionally-troubled woman much younger than Pat, but who’s also regressed to a place of childish maturity, yet adult sexual awareness. They form something between platonic friendship and romantic intimacy, in some ways recalling a ‘bro-mance’ between two football players. The sports metaphor goes further, since Pat and Tiffany chart a road to recovery that, like the best plays, defies convention.
Silver Linings Playbook, like the rest of Russell’s filmography, takes expectations and flips them on their heads, so much to make the ride well worth taking (even once you suspect what the final destination is). Russell usually works with his cast to create vivid characters that feel like people you pass on the street, enough to keep even the most peculiar narratives grounded. Cooper and Lawrence, by early accounts, delivers performances that manage such a task, as do Weaver and De Niro – the latter of who, thankfully, does not appear to be phoning in his role.
The Silver Linings Playbook is rounded out by such people as Julia Stiles, Shea Whingham, Anupam Kher, and Chris Tucker, marking his return to the big screen after a five-year absence following Rush Hour 3 (there’s a joke there, but, moving on). Look for the film in U.S. theaters on November 21st, 2012.
Source: Yahoo! Movies