As I've already explained it in a previous post, I find Silver Linings Playbook to be an amazing movie that deals with a very tough subject in a most unusual and yet totally convincing and realistic way. The movie is not ashamed of having a silver lining and not deciding to write a tragic end to the story (in my humble opinion, this underlined the message of the movie so wonderfully). Come Oscar night, I'd very much love to see an upset in basically every category in which it's nominate, even though it's not necessarily my pick in most of them.
We get to see a twentysomething nominee in the Best Actress category every year, who's enjoying her first nomination (with a slim chance of winning) and the possibility of a great career. And here's Jennifer Lawrence, 22, receiving her second nomination in two years (being the youngest actress to receive two nominations in that category) having received critics' awards, a Globe and a SAG. Many people would have probably bet on Carey Mulligan to gain a second nomination and an Oscar earlier and yet here we are with Jennifer who didn't have the "star is born" hype the last time (since Natalie Portman sucked out the air of anyone's possible campaign with hers).
However, Jennifer's last nomination came for the independent film Winter's Bone, where the cast and crew was able to ignore Hollywood's rules with the raw, unapologetic style of filmmaking. I suppose this attitude was the one that appealed to most Academy voters last time and that's what helped Lawrence's meteoric rise to stardom. She's so uncompromising in her acting and so free of tactics that one could even ignore the term "acting decisions" in her case. Instead of choosing to overanalyse her character, she relies completely on her own instincts and lets her soul drive her performances instead of her head, which may not lead to what we call "great actressing" but what is essential to creating a character that the audience can relate to and connect with certain aspects of their lives. Nowadays reviewers are almost pervertly obsessed with the little details and external aspects of performances that we often tend to forget what it's all about. Primarily, it's not about constantly showing an actor's tools and/or skills, it's more about embodying a believable character that contributes to the story.
I couldn't understand these at all the last time I encountered her as an Oscar nominee, but years taught me to see behind the surface and now I'm just amazed by her talent. And as weird as it sounds from my mouth, I believe we might have found our next Jane Fonda, an actress who creates on her own terms and acts with her soul and flawless instinct. She may not display all those "perfect skills", but her characters are painfully deep and vulnerable, which lead to enourmous effects (on me, at least).
Although Jennifer is much younger than Tiffany should be according to Matthew Quick's novel, her youth adds another layer of vulnerability to Tiffany's character. Nothing that she says about her husband sounds completely believable from her mouth, which confuses you more and makes you uncertain about everything you would think about her and this ultimately leads to a mysterious aura around her that makes it so easy to identify with Tiffany's pain. The fact Jennifer makes the emotions of the character almost touchable makes her acting affect even more deeply.
Moreover, the chemistry with Bradley Cooper makes them one of the two greatest duos that graced the screen last year (guess who were the others). Although there have been complaints about the fact that the whole purpose of Jennifer's character was to support Bradley Cooper's unstable Pat, I'd say that's one of the many-many misinterpretations about this movie or at least it's not a very accurate one in my opinion: Tiffany's character, as unstable as she is herself, brings redemption to Pat's life, just as much as she's saved by Pat. Bradley Cooper's clumsy and obsessive character is the polar opposite of Jennifer's Tiffany and yet they are just as implusive and vulnerable.
And since this chemistry is at the centre of Silver Linings Playbook, it's no surprise that their scenes are the one sticking with you the most. Their argument at the diner and in front of the movie theater is both electric and devastating, perfectly demonstrating how these two human beings are exposed to their traumas and their sudden realization of this is nothing short of heartbreaking.
But really, in the end, it all comes down to my favorite scene all year, the dance contest that is one of the most unusual and memorable scenes I've ever seen in my life: there's a brilliant balance between outrageously funny comedy and a deeply upsetting drama. It has a "last shot at happiness" feeling to it that makes you (or at least me) feel a kind of euphoria, which is perfectly shown on the face of Jacki Weaver in that scene. The bittersweet reality that Lawrence and Cooper both bring to this scene is quite simply astonishing. It's too bad that we're influenced by our own cynicism and our expectations of great "actressing" or "acting" and we forget to enjoy. If anything, Silver Linigs Playbook was a memento for me to examine all my conceptions and opinions about acting and filmmaking in general
Overall, contrary to all the Oscar reviewers and just like everyone else in this world I've totally fallen under the charms of Jennifer Lawrence who gives an unbelievably amazing, beautiful performance and creates a three-dimensional character with such extraordinary passion and depth that it sets the screen on fire and makes you fall in love with her characters despite (or maybe even because of) her flaws. A wondeful portrayal which according to me deserves a
What do you think?