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Silver Linings Playbook

Review by Kathy Gleeson

This film was released in 2012 to rapturous applause, starring Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Hollywood stalwart Robert DeNiro. This film is as kooky as hell, so says my elegantly beautiful friend, Pip. I agree. There are not many films that happily tackle mental illness and human frailty with a lightness of touch.

The synopsis goes thus. Life doesn't always go according to plan. Pat Solitano (Cooper) has lost everything-his house, his job, and his wife. He now finds himself living back with his mother and father (DeNiro) after spending eight months in a state institution on a plea bargain. He is diagnosed with bi-polar disorder whilst there.

Pat is determined to rebuild his life, remain positive and reunite with his wife, despite the challenging nature of their separation. In other words Pat beat his wife's lover to a pulp!

All Pat's parents want is for him to get back on his feet and to share their family's obsession with the Philadelphia Eagles football team. DeNiro plays the part of an over anxious obsessive compulsive with aplomb.

When Pat meets Tiffany (Lawrence) a mysterious girl recently widowed and with problems of her own, things get complicated. Tiffany offers to help Pat reconnect with his estranged wife, but only if he'll do something very important for her in return...cue lots of dancing, laughter and tears!

As their deal plays out, an unexpected bond begins to form, and as the film titles tells us, silver linings appear in both their lives.

This film is occasionally uncomfortable to watch - human suffering and anger is demonstrated with alarming regularity. However, in spite of this it remains encouraging and upbeat.

All the performances are flawless, with Lawrence winning an Academy Award for her efforts and Cooper being nominated for his. Another favourite of mine this year so far....and yes Cooper was quite gorgeous to ogle at too!