Silver Linings Playbook
Silver Linings Playbook is an American romantic comedy-drama film directed by David O. Russell, from a screenplay by Russell, adapted from the novel of the same name by Matthew Quick. The film stars Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, with Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Anupam Kher and Julia Stiles in supporting roles.
Silver Linings Playbook premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2012 and was released in the United States on November 16, 2012. The film opened to major critical success and earned numerous accolades. It received eight Academy Award nominations, including Best Picture and Best Director for Russell, in addition to achieving the rare feat of being nominated in all four acting categories, the first time since Reds in 1981, and also being nominated for the Big Five, the first time since Million Dollar Baby in 2004; four Golden Globe Award nominations, with Lawrence winning Best Actress; three BAFTA nominations; four Screen Actors Guild nominations; and five Independent Spirit Award nominations.
Movie2k Watch Movies – Silver Linings Playbook – Plot
Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper), who has bipolar disorder, is released from a mental health facility into the care of his parents after eight months of treatment. He learns that his wife, Nikki (Brea Bee), has moved away and his father, Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro), is out of work and resorting to bookmaking to earn money to start a restaurant. Pat is determined to get his life back on track and reconcile with Nikki, who obtained a restraining order against him after the violent episode that sent him away.
While talking to his court-mandated therapist Dr. Patel (Anupam Kher), Pat explains again why he was hospitalized. Coming home early from his high school teaching job, he found Nikki in their shower, having sex with another teacher, as Pat and Nikki’s wedding song, Stevie Wonder’s “My Cherie Amour,” played on their stereo. Enraged, he nearly beat the man to death. Despite this, Pat doesn’t believe he needs medication to manage his condition.
At dinner with his friend Ronnie, he meets Ronnie’s sister-in-law, Tiffany Maxwell (Jennifer Lawrence), a young widow and recovering sex addict who also just lost her job. Pat and Tiffany develop an odd friendship through their shared neuroses and he sees an opportunity to communicate with Nikki through her. Tiffany offers to deliver a letter to Nikki, if in return he will be her partner in an upcoming dance competition. He reluctantly agrees and the two begin a rigorous practice regimen over the following weeks. Pat believes the competition will be a good way to show Nikki he has changed and become a better man. Tiffany gives Pat a typed reply from Nikki, in which she cautiously hints there may be a chance for a reconciliation between them.
Things go well for Pat until his father asks him to attend an Eagles game he has bet virtually all of his money on, as a “good-luck charm”. Pat skips practice with Tiffany to attend the game, but is dragged into a fight with racist thugs attacking his psychiatrist and brother and is hauled away by police. The Eagles lose the game and Pat Sr. is furious. Tiffany arrives, berates Pat and argues in detail that the way she “reads the signs,” Pat Sr. was luckier when Pat was practicing with her. Pat Sr. makes a parlay with his gambling friend that if the Eagles win their game against Dallas, and if Pat and Tiffany score at least a 5 out of 10 in their dance competition, he will win back double the money he lost on the first bet. Pat is reluctant to participate in the dance contest under those conditions and re-reads Nikki’s letter. After noticing that a phrase Tiffany had uttered recurs in the letter supposedly written by Nikki, he realizes that Nikki’s letter had been forged by Tiffany.
Pat, Tiffany and everyone else arrive at the competition on the night of the football game. Tiffany is horrified to discover that Nikki is in the audience. Upset that Pat may win Nikki back and that she will lose him, Tiffany goes to the bar and has two vodkas. A frantic Pat spots her and manages to coax her onto the dance floor and they perform their routine. As they dance, the Eagles win their game and at the conclusion of their set they score exactly 5 points.
Amid cheers from his family and confused looks from the crowd, Pat approaches Nikki and speaks quietly into her ear. Tiffany storms off. Pat leaves Nikki behind after only a short conversation, intent on finding Tiffany. He chases after her and tells her he knows she forged Nikki’s letter. He confesses he has loved her from the moment he met her but has taken a long time to realize it and they kiss. They become a couple and Pat Sr. opens a restaurant with the money he has won.
Movie2k Watch Movies – Silver Linings Playbook – Cast
Bradley Cooper as Patrick “Pat Jr.” Solitano
Jennifer Lawrence as Tiffany Maxwell
Robert De Niro as Patrizio “Pat Sr.” Solitano
Jacki Weaver as Dolores Solitano. Weaver talked of how Russell likes to go off script, how “it is a bit heart-stopping at times, but it’s also very stimulating”. She praised her co-stars and says her favorite scene is after the dance contest when DeNiro encourages his son to seize the moment.
Chris Tucker as Danny, a friend of Pat’s from the Baltimore mental health facility
Julia Stiles as Veronica Maxwell
Anupam Kher as Dr. Patel
Brea Bee as Nikki
Shea Whigham as Jake Solitano
John Ortiz as Ronnie, Veronica’s husband
Paul Herman as Randy
Dash Mihok as Officer Keogh
Movie2k Watch Movies – Silver Linings Playbook – Production
Silver Linings Playbook – Development
The Weinstein Company bought the rights to the Silver Linings Playbook book before it was published and planned for Sydney Pollack and Anthony Minghella to produce, before they both died in 2008. Pollack gave the book to Russell, telling him it would be tricky because the story is emotional and troubling as well as funny and romantic. Russell estimates he rewrote the script twenty times over five years. Russell was drawn to the story because of the family relationships and also because of the connection to his own son, who is bipolar and has OCD.
Silver Linings Playbook was shot on a 33-day schedule. A more extreme and very dark version was filmed and scenes were shot with DeNiro’s character harsher or warmer, as Russell worked with editor Jay Cassidy to set the balance they wanted.
Silver Linings Playbook takes place over the second half of the 2008 NFL football season, which saw the Philadelphia Eagles advance to the NFC Championship Game. Several games are mentioned, including the Eagles’ victories over Seattle and San Francisco, their loss to the New York Giants (which was the game Pat was attending when the fight broke out) and their victory over Dallas in the season’s final game.
Silver Linings Playbook – Casting
Russell initially intended to make Silver Linings Playbook with Vince Vaughn and Zooey Deschanel, but went on to make The Fighter instead. Mark Wahlberg was set to work with Russell for the fourth time but had to drop out after delays in production created a scheduling conflict.
Russell had planned to work with Bradley Cooper on an adaptation of Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, but that fell through. Cooper’s performance in Wedding Crashers impressed Russell, who noted his “good bad-guy energy”, saying “You’re not sure where he’s coming from.” Cooper told Russell “he had been heavier and angrier and more fearful” at the time of that performance and had drawn on those feelings for it. Russell was excited that Cooper would bring those qualities to Pat Solitano.
Anne Hathaway was cast as Tiffany Maxwell but due to scheduling conflicts with The Dark Knight Rises, she dropped out. Other actresses who tested for the part included Elizabeth Banks, Kirsten Dunst, Angelina Jolie, Blake Lively, Rooney Mara, Rachel McAdams, Andrea Riseborough and Olivia Wilde.
Russell did not believe Lawrence was suitable for the role and her audition was only a formality. He thought Lawrence (21 at the time of filming) was too young to play against Cooper (37), but her audition changed his mind. “There’s an expressiveness in her eyes and in her face, that many stars have to work for, that’s ageless,” he said. Russell compares Lawrence to the character Tiffany, describing her as confident but one of the least neurotic people he knows, with the confidence and glimpses of vulnerability needed to play Tiffany. Tiffany went through several iterations. She was initially meant to be a goth. Lawrence dyed her hair black and did test shoots in heavy goth makeup, but Harvey Weinstein balked at this. The character remained messed-up yet confident, with small goth touches such as the dark hair and a cross. To her surprise Russell asked Lawrence to put on weight for the role. Russell also convinced her to speak in a lower register, despite Lawrence thinking her naturally low voice makes her sound like a “chain-smoking hermit”.
According to Entertainment Weekly, Lawrence said “she didn’t have a handle on Tiffany at first, which was what excited her about the role. ‘She was just a character I 100 percent did not understand at all… She’s like, ‘I’m messed up, I’m not like everybody else, I’ve got issues. Take it or leave it because I like myself.'”
Lawrence and Cooper had no previous dance experience. In less than a month, Mandy Moore, the choreographer of So You Think You Can Dance, taught them the dance sequences. Moore describes Cooper as having “some real natural dancing ability” and Lawrence joked that before training began, she was a bad dancer, “like I’m a dad at a prom”. Lawrence said of the climactic ballroom dance, “None of that was improvised, absolutely not. I’m a terrible dancer, so I would never have been able to do any of that. When it finally came together, that scene really was just as fun as it feels.”
Movie2k Watch Movies – Silver Linings Playbook – Release
Silver Linings Playbook premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival on September 8, 2012, where it won the People’s Choice Award. It received a limited release in the United States on November 16, 2012, expanding wider later that week. It also opened at the 2012 Mumbai Film Festival on October 18, 2012.
The Weinstein company initially planned an unusual wide release for Silver Linings Playbook, going nationwide on an estimated 2,000 screens. They were encouraged by positive reviews and hoping to capitalize on Thanksgiving to do more business. Instead, they took a more slow-burn approach, opening in fewer theaters, expanding gradually, in a strategy to build up word of mouth support. Continuing the slow release the film expands to 700 theaters on December 25.
Movie2k Watch Movies – Silver Linings Playbook – Reception
Silver Linings Playbook – Critical response
Silver Linings Playbook premiered at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival to highly positive critical reactions. The film has a “Certified Fresh” rating of 91% on Rotten Tomatoes based on 186 reviews, with an average rating of 8.2/10 (among the site’s Top Critics, the film scored a 91% approval rating with an average rating of 8.7/10). The consensus reads, “Silver Linings Playbook walks a tricky thematic tightrope, but David O. Russell’s sensitive direction and some sharp work from a talented cast gives it true balance.” Metacritic, which assigns a weighted mean rating out of 100 to reviews from mainstream critics, the film holds an average score of 81%, based on reviews from 45 critics, indicating “universal acclaim.”
Cooper, Lawrence, DeNiro and Weaver have all been lauded for their performances, with praise especially reserved for Cooper and Lawrence. Kevin Jagernauth of The Playlist praised the film, “an enormously entertaining, crowd-pleasing winner from the director whose comedic edge has never been sharper”, and especially the performances of its two leads, stating that “none of this works without some carefully developed, and perfectly pitched performances from the leads, and Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, who both arguably give career best, awards-worthy performances.” David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter said that “the chemistry between Cooper and Lawrence makes them a delight to watch, their spiky rapport failing to conceal a mutual attraction” and that their performances anchor the ensemble cast who also give great performances even in small roles. Rooney also complimented the “invigorating messiness” and “nervous energy” of the choreography. Richard Corliss of Time magazine also applauded the performances of the leads, particularly Lawrence, stating: “The performances of these actors are reason enough to go. The reason to stay is Lawrence. Just 21 when the movie was shot, Lawrence is that rare young actress who plays, who is, grown-up.”
Russell’s direction has also been widely acclaimed, with Justin Chang of Variety writing: “Never one to shy away from unlikely sources of comedy, David O. Russell tackles mental illness, marital failure and the curative powers of football with bracingly sharp and satisfying results.” Eric Kohn of IndieWire gave the film an “A-” grade, praising the performances of both Cooper and Lawrence and also Russell’s directing, stating that “both as solo screenwriter and director, Russell assembles a small, bubbly cast for an unexpectedly charming romcom that frequently dances — at one point, quite literally — between cynicism and bittersweetness with largely winning results.” Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post remarked that “directors matter. In any other hands, the adaptation of Matthew Quick’s novel would be the stuff of banal rom-com fluff or, perhaps worse, self-consciously quirky indie cliches.”
Roger Ebert said that the film was “so good, it could almost be a terrific old classic” and describes Russel’s screenplay as “ingenious” for the way the major concerns of both the father and son pivot on the final bet. Kenneth Turan called the film “a complete success from a singular talent” [Russell] and the actors’ performances “superb”, including Chris Tucker in an “irresistible” supporting turn. Steven Rea of The Philadelphia Inquirer called the film “a transcendent endeavor, from its exhilaratingly smart screenplay… to the unexpected and moving turns of its two leads.” Ricardo Baca of The Denver Post wondered if the film was too good to be true, answering: “Actually, no. All the silvery buzz here is deserved, folks. This meaningful film keeps the laughs, giddy anxiousness and warm butterflies from the trailer and sustains it all through two full hours of a love story.” Peter Travers of Rolling Stone called it “one of the year’s best movies. It’s crazy good.”
One critical review of Silver Linings Playbook came from The New Yorker reviewer David Denby, who called it “a miscalculation from beginning to end” and found Cooper’s character “tiresome” but noted that the film improves when Tiffany is introduced. Richard Brody, also of The New Yorker, criticized the writing, saying “the characters are created merely to fulfill its requirements” and credits the actors for any charm or integrity the film possesses. Although the film does not mention religion Brody says the story takes a “faith-based view” to mental illness and presents itself as free-spirited and quirky but endorses a populist conservative doctrine. Robbie Collin of The Daily Telegraph said that there was a “tiring fruitlessness to the mayhem” and that the film’s central relationship isn’t that interesting. He describes the lead character as a “rambling headcase”, his mental illness passed off as a lovable quirk and complains that Tiffany’s reasons for being interested in him are largely unexplored. He describes Lawrence as the film’s only silver lining, in that she does manage to create a complex character from thin material, but he criticizes Russell for ogling her.
The NFL was critical of the gambling in the film and declined to broadcast an interview with Bradley Cooper and Chris Tucker during Thanksgiving.
Silver Linings Playbook – Box office
Silver Linings Playbook earned $443,003 in its opening weekend, from 16 locations, facing strong competition from Skyfall and Lincoln. Expanding to 367 locations in the second week the film, putting it in ninth place, with $4.4 million. By December 30, it was showing at 745 theatres and earned $27.3 million so far.
Ray Subers forecast the film would earn $100 million. He predicts the film would start slow but keep going through December and gain a wide audience, bringing in fans of Lawrence and Cooper from their work on big franchise films.
- Academy Award Nominations
- American Romantic Comedy
- Anupam Kher
- Bafta Nominations
- Golden Globe Award
- Golden Globe Award Nominations
- Independent Spirit Award
- Independent Spirit Award Nominations
- International Film Festival
- Julia Stiles
- Mental Health Facility
- Million Dollar Baby
- Robert De Niro
- School Teaching Job
- Screen Actors Guild
- Screen Actors Guild Nominations
- Silver Linings
- Spirit Award Nominations
- Toronto International Film Festival
- Violent Episode