Last week we saw a second trailer for David O. Russell’s wonderful new drama, Silver Linings Playbook. The new preview gave us a better look into the heart of the film, focusing on the comedic aspect—just one of the many dimensions Russell has built into the story to give it a tremendous amount of life and ethos. Following last week’s trailer, the a new clip has been released, featuring a scene from a dinner party thrown by Julia Stiles with Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence as the guests of honor. The two discuss their prescription med intake, showing the initial spark that bonds them together—the realization that they’re both different than everyone they know, almost as if they both in on a secret joke. We get a sense of Russell’s brilliant way of crafting chemistry between people as well as his affinity for strained familial situations on edge.
I saw the film about two weeks and haven’t been able to stop thinking about it. There was something about it, although far removed from my own life, that felt deeply relatable and hit on a real guttural level. The characters—all dealing with their own anxieties and disorders—weren’t sketches of a person scrapped together (as so many films dealing with mental illness are wont to do) rather, they were all everyday people trying to deal with problems beyond their grasp that stemmed from something real. Not only that, but there were consequences for their actions. The film also managed to subtly show the point in illness, treatment, and recover when you have the clarity and consciousness to recognize your behavior and your faults/flaws but still don’t have the power to control them and the shame, guilt, self-hatred that comes with that and perpetuates it. No one was looking to be “cured,” just simply finding ways to cope and make a life that had meaning from the pieces they lost and the things they gained in return. And that was wonderful to see played out in such an entertaining way that didn’t try to beat you over the head but really employed the use to subtext to allow you to enter these character’s psyche’s, as well as their hearts.
The long synopsis goes as follows:
Life doesn’t always go according to plan. Pat Solatano has lost everything—his house, his job, and his wife. He now finds himself living back with his mother and father after spending eight months in a state institution on a plea bargain. Pat is determined to rebuild his life, remain positive and reunite with his wife, despite the challenging circumstances of their separation. All Pat’s parents want is for him to get back on his feet – and to share their family’s obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles football team. When Pat meets Tiffany, a mysterious girl with problems of her own, things get complicated. Tiffany offers to help Pat reconnect with his wife, but only if he’ll do something very important for her in return. As their deal plays out, an unexpected bond begins to form between them, and silver linings appear in both of their lives.
Check out the new clip.