Oscar Deathmatch: Pitting the Casts of ‘Reds’ and ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ Against Each Other

Silver Linings Playbook is slowly edging its way closer and closer to grabbing up some Oscars, and the feel-good film about feeling weird has an aggressive campaign, courtesy of those schemin’ Weinsteins, bent on stealing those trophies away from Daniel Day-Lewis, Jessica Chastain, Tommy Lee Jones, and Anne Hathaway. While it’s unlikely that the entire cast of Silver Linings Playbook will get to walk on stage at the end of February to collect their golden statues (although Jennifer Lawrence’s recent SAG win increases her chances), the film is notable for being the first in 31 years to get nominations in all four acting categories. The other film, of course, was Reds, Warren Beatty’s epic drama about the Russian Revolution. 

Here’s my question: can you really expect the cast of Silver Linings Playbook, a movie about feeeeelings, to go head-to-head with the heavyweights in Reds, a movie about political activism and the endurance of love amid historical revolution? No, you cannot! The cast of Reds would not only drink the cast of Silver Linings Playbook under the table, but I’m willing to bet they could easily knock them off faster than you can sing "Ho Hey." 

But let’s not stop there! Let’s take a look at what each of these eight actors have to offer, shall we?

Warren Beatty vs. Bradley Cooper

Warren Beatty is like, "Who?" Sorry, but Beatty is too busy resting because he’s super exhausted from fucking literally everything in Hollywood. Sure, he’s settled down now with Annette Bening, but his real life made both The Hangover and The Hangover Part II look like The Sandlot. What does Bradley Cooper bring the table? Sure, he can act like a obsessive-compulsive manic-depressive (let’s not forget that Jack Nicholson set the standard back in As Good As It Gets, by the way), and apparently he can tango or something. But can he do all that while writing, producing, and directing a movie—about the Russian Revolution? That clocks in at over three hours? And features documentary-style interviews with the likes of Henry Miller? Cool it, B-Coop. We’ll call you when we re-make Shampoo.

Diane Keaton vs. Jennifer Lawrence

Ohhhh, brother. Diane Keaton has more wacky charm in her pinky than the 22-year-old it-girl has in her entire body. But nevermind the off-screen abilities of these two; let’s talk about their roles in these two movies. Lawrence plays a woman who acts out after the death of her husband by screwing everything in sight, jogging next to a man who wears a plastic bag as a shirt, layering her face with eye-liner, and ballroom dancing. Keaton’s character, on the other hand, falls in love with poet and activist John Reed and alcoholic playwright Eugene O’Neill. The gal from Silver Linings learns to dance, whereas Keaton’s Louise Bryant is present when the course of history is changed forever. Way to put your stamps on the world! 

Jack Nicholson vs. Robert De Niro

This seems like the ultimate match-up, although it’s a bit unfair to put a 44-year-old Jack Nicholson against 69-year-old Robert De Niro. But it must happen, because everyone’s losing their minds over Robert De Niro crying and watching football. Meanwhile, in Reds, Nicholson was busy boning Diane Keaton and writing a Pulitzer Prize-winning play. No biggie. 

Maureen Stapleton vs. Jacki Weaver

Maureen Stapleton won an Oscar for her portrayal of radical feminist activist Emma Goldman. Jacki Weaver got an Oscar nomination for saying "crabby snacks and homemades" twice (and also because they just needed some nominees because we all know that Anne Hathaway is going to get that thing). This seems like an incredibly even match, right? I’d just like to see Maureen Stapleton’s Emma Goldman clomp around modern-day Philadelphia teaching these people what real suffering is like. Get me on the phone with David O. Russell: I’ve got a great idea for his next dramedy.

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