Thread: Movies and TV Movies
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Old 01-20-2013, 07:07 PM   #8819
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To each his own, but I'm not the only one to have these specific criticisms.

Quote:
Why is it that critics whose job it is to be attentive to the details and underlying messages in movies disagree so sharply on the basic plot—let alone the deeper message—of this movie?

Mostly because Silver Linings Playbook is a mess. That messiness is at least partly by design. The shaky, uncomfortably intimate camerawork; the abrupt plot changes; the constantly shifting tone—all these are no doubt deliberate choices by Russell that contribute to the film’s exuberant feeling. But in addition to that choppy style there is a choppiness in the storytelling when it comes to depicting, and defining the contours of, mental illness. Russell doesn’t seem particularly interested in the question of what distinguishes a person’s mental illness from his or her personality, or the question of whether medication is as effective a treatment for bipolar disorder as a pretty girl and a dance competition. Russell doesn’t highlight whether or not Pat is medicated at any given time in the film’s narrative. Though we hear Pat complain of lithium’s side effects—sluggishness, weight gain—early in the film, we don’t see him actually experience any of these side effects once he starts taking his meds. As David Denby writes in his critical New Yorker review of Silver Linings Playbook, “What’s supposed to be clinically wrong with [Pat] is inseparable from what is merely infantile in him as a character.”

http://www.slate.com/blogs/browbeat/...ot_really.html
Quote:
David O. Russell’s sort-of comedy is pretty much a miscalculation from beginning to end. Russell’s hero is a young history teacher, Pat (Bradley Cooper), who is released from a Baltimore hospital after eight months of treatment for bipolar disorder. At home with his parents, he talks non-stop about his wife, who has left him, and in the middle of the night he throws “A Farewell to Arms” through a windowpane and then wakes up Mom (Jacki Weaver) and Dad (Robert De Niro) to complain about the book’s plot. Pat is mainly just silly and infantile—a self-absorbed manic chatterbox. What’s supposed to be clinically wrong with him as a person is inseparable from what is merely tiresome in him as a movie character. Things improve a bit when the tough, direct Jennifer Lawrence shows up as a young neighborhood widow who unaccountably pursues Pat. The film turns into a kind of stuttering romantic comedy, but the rhythms are off. Russell overloads scenes with talk and fights; the movie nags at you. As Pat, Sr., De Niro creates more noise, as a furiously superstitious sports nut who makes wild bets on games and is always in a foul temper.

http://www.newyorker.com/arts/review...aybook_russell
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