Silver Linings Playbook
2012
*****
Director: David O. Russell
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Chris Tucker, Anupam Kher, Julia Stiles, Shea Whigham, John Ortiz

Eight months ago, Pat beat up his wife’s lover and he was diagnosed with bipolar disorder. Now he is released from a mental institution to his parents’ care. As Pat dreams of making peace with his estranged wife, he meets Tiffany, an eccentric young widow with neuroses of her own. This unusual story begins as a credible portrayal of mental illness, but it slowly tranforms into an endearing romantic comedy. You could say that the script abandons the difficult mental health issues in favour of a crowd-pleasing romance, but it’s hard to be cynical when the film is so irresistibly funny and touching. The characterisation is pitch perfect and the cast is terrific across the board. Bradley Cooper is a revelation as Pat, Jennifer Lawrence earned a deserved Oscar for her portrayal of the tough but fragile Tiffany, Robert De Niro gives his warmest performance in decades as Pat’s obsessive compulsive dad, and Jack Weaver is wonderfully subdued as the mom who holds the family together. Hell, even Chris Tucker delivers a likeable turn as a fellow mental patient. Adapted from Matthew Quick’s novel.