Silver Linings Playbook: Inside the Oscar Best Picture nominee
Name: Silver Linings Playbook
Release date: Nov. 16
DVD release date: unknown
Run time: 122 minutes
Box office: $80 million as of Feb. 4
Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%
Movie Math: (A Beautiful Mind+Save The Last Dance) x (The Color of Money+The Family Stone)
Tweetable description: A story that tackles mental illness with a cast full of winning performances elevate the material beyond your typical romantic comedy.
What Owen Gleiberman said: “In David O. Russell’s exhilarating high-wire act of a romantic comedy, Bradley Cooper plays a man with bipolar disorder who can’t see past his broken marriage (even with Jennifer Lawrence standing in front of him ready to dance — talk about disordered vision!), and Cooper’s performance has the beautifully unhinged quality of a man trying to outrun his own pain.”
What Lisa Schwarzbaum said: “Family nuttiness, football madness, romantic obsession, and certifiable mental illness coexist happily in Silver Linings Playbook — a crazy beaut of a comedy that brims with generosity and manages to circumvent predictability at every turn.”
Number of Oscar nods: 8: Best Picture, Best Actor (Bradley Cooper), Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence), Best Supporting Actor (Robert De Niro), Best Supporting Actress (Jacki Weaver), Best Director (David O. Russell), Best Adapted Screenplay (David O. Russell), and Best Editing (Jay Cassidy and Crispin Struthers).
Movie’s Oscar history: The actors have been well represented with the Academy before. Robert De Niro has been nominated six times, and last won in 1980 for Raging Bull. Jennifer Lawrence was a 2011 Best Actress nominee for Winter’s Bone; Jacki Weaver was recognized by the Academy for Best Supporting Actress in 2011 for Animal Kingdom; and Bradley Cooper received his first nomination for his work in this film.
What is has won thus far: Silver Linings Playbook has won the Broadcast Film Critics Award for Best Cast, Best Comedy, Best Actor (Bradley Cooper), and Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence). In addition to many local film festival awards, SLP was nominated for Best Cast, Best Actor, and Best Supporting Actor at the Screen Actors Guild Awards, with Jennifer Lawrence winning the SAG for her role. At the Golden Globes, the film was nominated for Best Comedy/Musical, Best Actor, and Best Screenplay, with Jennifer Lawrence winning the Globe for her portrayal of Tiffany.
Why it should win: Despite a plot that deals with heavy topics such as mental illness and family dysfunction, Silver Linings Playbook is the feel-good movie of this awards season — the romantic comedy that critics and audiences are getting behind. What’s so wrong with things ending happily every once in a while? Comedies – particularly romantic comedies that aren’t based on true stories – rarely win Oscars and are unfairly punished by not being billed as a “prestige picture.” Silver Linings Playbook is also the first film in over 30 years to have nominations in all four acting categories, a fact that speaks well of the momentum behind it (particularly with actors being the largest voting block in the Academy).
Why it shouldn’t win: The film certainly has its detractors who say it misrepresents mental illness and is extremely contrived, with every scene meant to move the plot forward. While Lawrence has won almost universal praise and is the frontrunner for Best Actress, the film itself might falter gaining enough support over more popular pictures such as Lincoln or Argo. It’s debatable, but some feel that this movie is “just” a romantic comedy that has been dressed up into an Oscar picture.
Vegas Odds: 33/1, according to Las Vegas Sports Betting
Best Line: Pat: “You have poor social skills. You have a problem.” Tiffany: “I have a problem? You say more inappropriate things than appropriate things.”
Worst Line: Tiffany: “You let me lie to you for a week?” Pat: “I was trying to be romantic.”