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Depiction of Bipolar Illness in Silver Linings Playbook

In: Uncategorized

21 Nov 2012

There is a new movie out that is getting very good reviews. Bradley Cooper plays a guy with a condition labeled Bipolar  Robert DiNero plays his father who seems to be an obsessive compulsive gambler. The following is a movie review of the film which I wrote for  FilmRap.net.  I would be interested in any comments by the readers of PsychiatryTalk.com who may have seen this movie.

**** Silver Linings Playbook-

We are always sensitive when there is humor presented at the expense of people with mental illness. This is what seemed to be the case when at the beginning of the film we meet Pat (Bradley Cooper ) who is about to be released from a mental hospital. He is being picked up by his mom (Jacki Weaver) and we see that he has Bipolar Disorder, flies off the handle very easily and fools the nurse into thinking that takes his medication when he really cheeks it and throws it away. The humor continues as we meet his father, Pat Sr. (Robert DiNiro) who has an obsessive disorder and is a superstitious gambler who always bets on the  Philadelphia Eagles. From finding ourselves unhappy that we are laughing at these dysfunctional characters, we then become aware of the great pain that they are suffering which early on shows in the sensitive performances of Weaver and DeNiro. The storyline then reveals the circumstances of Pat Jr’s hospitalization and his trauma in regard to his wife’s behavior. Bradley ‘s performance is tremendous as he plays mentally disturbed , determined and very smart. However the real stand out and maybe even Oscar performance is by Jennifer Lawrence who plays Tiffany a beautiful. dysfunctional , quirky , vulnerable and very intense woman. She is  recently widowed, who becomes entwined with Pat as he is trying find a way to recapture his wife. The photography, mostly single camera  fast moving as is the directing by David O. Russell, the editing by Jay Cassidy and the music by Danny Elfman which includes Frank Sinatra and Johnny Mathis at the appropriate times with a little “ dancing with the stars”  thrown in. In the end what makes this movie a winner is that it  is a real love story, complete with sentimentality all around. Think Frank Capra and It’s a Wonderful Life, Christmas lights and all. (2012)

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