Nominated for eight Oscars, Silver Linings Playbook is a critical, if not yet financial, success. It garnered nominations in all the “big” categories including picture, director, writing, and acting. It may also turn big on Oscar night, since the Academy members love to snub big films and reward the little guy. In 1977 there were four small films nominated for Best Picture and one enormous, bigger-than-big blockbuster that continues to be an iconic culture symbol worldwide. The winner that year was Annie Hall. It beat Star Wars! Today every person on Earth knows the name Luke Skywalker. If asked who Annie Hall was, most people would guess a school teacher.
This year’s awards may have the same results. SLP is against big pictures like Django Unchained, Les Misérables and Lincoln (12 nominations for Abe‘s film). It would be fitting and prophetic if Diane Keaton (Best Actress winner and title role holder in Annie Hall) presented the Best Picture winner, since it may be déjà vu all over again.
SLP turns out to be a picture that’s a bit of a cross between One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest (1975) and Love Story (1970). It’s about two people with mental health and relationship issues. Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence are the two crazies. He is back home from being in “the home” for his mental aberrations. She has also just come out of therapy. The only thing they have in common is a long list of anti-psychotic drugs. Most of their conversations take place while they are jogging. Robert De Niro and Jackie Weaver play Bradley’s sports-mad, but dysfunctional, family trying to cope with Bradley’s occasional homicidal rages. Jennifer seems to be mostly on her own and likes to dance.
Without giving away too much, the two crazies somehow go together like Hannibal Lecter and a rubber room. Lots of emotion and soap opera accompany a few moments of humor. This film is mainly about the acting abilities of the four main characters, as the plot seems inevitable from the first meeting of the two hot stars. Remember, Bradley is now making The Hangover 3 and Jennifer is working on The Hunger Games Part 2. Even now, big trucks, full of money, are being packed and shipped to them.
Will they also receive the acting awards? Ask Annie Hall.
Rated 3.0 out of 4.0 reasons to remember that in 1964 Joan Crawford, wielding an ax, did not win any awards for her role in Strait-Jacket. Shame, shame on you Academy members.