May 21, 2013

Good Tues. Nice day here. Started out around 38 degrees.

We watched The Silver Lining Playbook, about a man, Patrick (Bradley Cooper), with bipolar disorder who is released into his family’s custody after eight months in a psychiatric facility. When he gets home, we quickly see that his family presents a spectrum of disorders that makes his seem just a more extreme version of his normal family life. The dad (Robert DeNiro) is a bookmaker who bets on the Philly Eagles and has an array of superstitions and ocd behaviors related to his betting. He has been banned from Eagles stadium for fighting. His best friend is another bookmaker. Patrick’s mother is odd and his brother is weird. Patrick’s odd friend invites him to dinner where Patrick meets Tiffany, his friend’s wife’s (Julia Stiles) sister (Jennifer Lawrence), who has her own bipolar demons. Tiffany has become unemployable and lives in a remodeled garage in back of her parents’ house.

Patrick is fixated on getting back together with his estranged wife Nikki, but the plot soon makes clear that Tiffany and Patrick have a lot in common. Tiffany persuades Patrick to practice hard to compete in a dance contest and the story builds to that event. The discipline and fitness produced by this concentration give both Patrick and Tiffany a focus and a working partnership that makes them both more normal. They call each other on misbehavior and gradually learn to trust each other. The scenes of Patrick freaking out in the middle of the night over how a novel ended or where a lost video is disturb the neighborhood and bring home the chaos mental illness can bring to a family. A disturbing movie with an improbably hopeful ending. Excellent acting and well worth watching, but definitely not for kids.


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