by Shamain Nisar
For as long as I can remember I set my alarm for 6 AM, trying to pry my eyes open and sit in front of the TV, in my dark house, with everyone else asleep, and catch the action of the Academy Awards live. Having said that, sometimes I think to myself the Oscars disappoint with the choice of nominations they put forward, or I find awards being handed out to movies I wouldn’t normally prefer to watch or enjoy. This year, I was beyond excited when I learned that Silver Linings Playbook was nominated for almost all major categories.
What makes this film an instant hit is the balanced combination of dance, sports and family, but what brings it up yet another notch is the wonderful ensemble cast, including Robert DeNiro, Julia Stiles, Chris Tucker (in a small but hilarious role) and Bollywood’s Anupam Kher. Everyone in the cast adds their little touches to the movie, refining it and making it that much more dynamic and enjoyable. And though the extended cast fully and strongly supports the story, everything would have been a disaster had the two leads not pulled off the best acting of their respective careers (so far). The chemistry between Cooper and Lawrence is what takes the film over the edge. It was refreshing to see Cooper play a not-so-perfect person. Also, I had thought Jennifer Lawrence would never be able to shed her Katniss Everdeen image, but her versatility, her hoarse, throaty voice and her overall interpretation of the character were impressive.
The film has no BIG scenes – it’s made of small moments and an easy going flow. The scene where Pat reads A Farewell to Arms and throws it out the window because of the heartbreaking end, or when Tiffany comes and confronts Pat’s father after he had said she was “bad juju” for his football team, are among this critic’s favorite scenes.
The reason why I’m rooting for Silver Linings Playbook this year is that I think it is definitely a relatable story. Every character, from Pat, to Tiffany, to Pat’s dad, his friend and his wife, is a little off balanced, validating the idea that everyone is crazy in their own way, no matter how well adjusted they think they are. The lead characters are not perfect or larger than life, but instead ordinary screw-ups navigating the little moments in their lives, making one smile in a twisted way, thinking to one’s self “oh yes, I get it. I’ve been there!”