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Contrux Conspirators @shanewastestime - Silver Linings Playbook Review

9:38:00 AMPaul

Another review from our friend Shane Jenkins. You can follow him on twitter @shanewastestime or check out his site . We love his non-pretentious and honest reviews. I've seen alot of movies this year I really wouldn't have checked out without his good word. 

90. Silver Linings Playbook

I'm not much of a Bradley Cooper fan. He's handsome, but in the least-interesting way possible. He doesn't ever really embody his characters, like he's either holding back or just not very good. And he mostly makes movies I don't want to see.

But (like Michael Keaton says via sample in Prince's 1989 inexplicable hit "Batdance") stop the press! Because Silver Linings Playbook has done the unthinkable, and made me an instant B. Coop fan. This is maybe the first real performance I've ever seen him give, and damned if he doesn't nail it! As a recovering mental patient trying to regain the trust of his family and estranged wife, he gives us a character who is fighting with his emotions at all times, and Cooper really makes this struggle believable.

It helps that he's surrounded by a dream supporting cast. Jennifer Lawrence is just flat-out fantastic, and I hope she picks up an Oscar nom. And Robert DeNiro is the best he's been in decades, with a light in his eyes that suggests he's been roused from the sleepwalking he's been getting paid for since, say, Midnight Run and Goodfellas. Plus Chris Tucker is back, and is charming and funny in his few scenes. And with Oscar nominee Jacki Weaver's great turn as DeNiro's Philadelphia housewife, this is probably the best ensemble cast of the year.

One treat for locals is how Silver Linings gets Philadelphia right. If you love *or* hate the Eagles, you will recognize the truth of its sport scenes and related dialogue. But more than just that, it captures the mindset of the city's sports fans, and even the mindset of the city as a whole. We are frequently the butt of jokes (and are often the ones making the jokes), but to be a Philadelphian is to balance hardships and disappointments with optimism and the hope the best is still to come. For all its faults and problems, I genuinely love Philadelphia, and the fact that Silver Linings has captured all of these contrasting emotions and wrapped it in a moving, crowd-pleasing package, worthy of being placed along side Rocky Balboa running up those stairs, makes me genuinely love it too.

Grade: A

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