Pat Solatano (played by Bradley Cooper) has recently been discharged from a mental institution, where he has spent the last eight months in treatment after beating up the lover of his ex-wife, Nikki. Having lost his house and his job, under the conditions of his release, Pat is now living at his parents’ home with his father, Pat Senior (by Robert De Nero) and his mother, Dolores (by Jackie Weaver). He refuses to take his medication because he doesn’t like the way it makes him feel and he is desperate to reconcile with his wife. He attends mandatory counselling sessions with a therapist (by Anupam Kher) and is convinced that he can get back on the rails, back into his job as a teacher and back with his wife – he just needs to stay positive and focus on the silver linings in his life. Pat’s parents wish everything could just get back to “normal” – but Pat Junior’s bizarre unmedicated behaviour is leading them to the end of their collective tethers. They hope Pat is able to get back on his feet himself, but this is no easy feat. Pat Senior has his own issues to deal with … his obsessive gambling, his baseball team and his conviction that Pat Junior is his ultimate good luck charm. Dolores just tries to keep everything together. One day, Pat meets Tiffany Maxwell (by Jennifer Lawrence), a refreshingly direct and honest woman who must deal with her own issues. Pat and Tiffany realise that theirs can be a mutually beneficial relationship. They settle on a deal to each get the thing they most want in their lives. … but are they both being honest? … does this come at a price that’s getting too high? Things progress well, but then start to get complicated and as their deal plays out, an unexpected bond begins to form between them, and silver linings appear in both of their lives.
This movie is interesting and good. Bradley Cooper’s performance in this role takes him out of the familiar roles he has played to this point – and he is very good here. His haphazard method and his demonstration of the effects of mental illness are realistic and well done. He deserves the nomination for Best Actor for this. As usual, Robert De Niro makes acting look like second nature and his portrayal of Pat Senior is so excellent it just looks effortless. Although small, the role of Dolores is important and Jackie Weaver’s performance is strong and I agree that Jennifer Lawrence is the stand-out – she totally deserves the Academy Award (Oscar) she received for this performance. The movie is very well directed, the relatioships, dependencies, human idiosyncracies and the intricacies of human emotions are all done very well. Great effort. The film is based on the novel by the same name by Matthew Quick.
Made in 2012. Directed by David O Russell