Can’t Wait: ‘The Silver Linings Playbook’

While my other movie series, I Don’t Need No Stinkin’ Film School, looks back, I figured I should place at least one foot in the here and now of giddy anticipation.  Therefore, Can’t Wait focuses on upcoming movies I, well, can’t wait to see, along with a few reasons why.

Robert DeNiro’s career has, to put it gently, slowed in the last 15 to 20 years.  After years of being perhaps the greatest actor of his generation, he’s seemingly been content to ease himself into supporting roles in light comedies like Meet the Parents and Analyze This.  There’s nothing wrong with phoning it in a little after a lifetime of greatness, but it must get a little dull without having to stretch himself.  Hence, he looks like he’s combined the two phases of his career in The Silver Linings Playbook, David O. Russell’s follow-up to 2010’s The Fighter.

As wonderful as DeNiro looks, the two leads, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, seem primed to knock it out of the park.  Cooper’s long been a reliable actor but one relegated to bland “leading man” types of characters.  He was the kind friend on Alias and had some fun with smarminess in The Hangover, but hasn’t had much to chew on in his roles; playing a recently released mental patient should remedy that.  Lawrence, who already has a great role under her belt (Winter’s Bone), could easily play it safe after striking gold in franchise films like X-Men: First Class and this year’s huge hit, The Hunger Games.  Nobody would fault a new star for doing so.  The fact she’s not playing a woman with a quiet resolve (as she has in her best known roles so far) is exciting; her character’s bipolar warmth/insanity is a welcome change.  Even if it weren’t directed by Russell, one of the better young-ish filmmakers of our day, the cast would be plenty of reason to grow excited for the film.


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