Silver Linings Playbook

January 27, 2013 - Strong performances shine through in this Oscar-nominated film based on the book by Matthew Quick. The cast features Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert DeNiro and Julia Stiles.

Cooper plays Pat, a teacher and devoted Philadelphia Eagles fan, who's just finishing up a stint in a mental institution. He got sent there after he beat the crap out of his wife's lover. Now, Pat must move back in with his parents (DeNiro and Jacki Weaver) and continue therapy to deal with his bi-polar disorder. Pat plans to stay on the straight and narrow in hopes of winning back his wife, Nikki.

Soon after being released, Pat gets invited to dinner at a friend's house. The friend's wife invites her sister, Tiffany (Lawrence), who has troubles of her own. She's had her own psychiatric issues since the death of her husband, a Philadelphia police officer. Pat and Tiffany start hanging out, and he agrees to be her partner in an upcoming dance contest. But, despite their growing relationship, Pat remains focused on reconciling with Nikki.

Overall review: *** The standout cast rises above the fairly average material and makes a movie that's above average. Cooper and Lawrence have good chemistry, and DeNiro never tries to do too much with his supporting role. In this movie, the pleasure is not so much in seeing what the characters do, but in watching how the actors make them do it.