Saw this for a second time yesterday because of Jackie Weavers Oscar nomination. I loved her in Animal Kingdom where she owned one of the best characters ever and was looking forward to seeing her in future roles but aside for a small part in The Five Year Engagement this was the first time she showed up in anything. Going in for my first viewing I was excited that she was getting the chance to act in a movie with so much talent involved and had no doubt she would deliver. Walking out I was dissapointed that she was so wasted having nothing to do but stand in the background and make worried expressions. So when the nominations came out I was shocked to see her in there and frankly shocked to see the movie overall getting so much love. I mean it was great as far as romantic comedies go but that really isn't saying much.
So this time I obviously payed close attention to her performance and in my opinion her nomination was easily the least deserving of the year. She has like four lines in the whole movie and they all come in the first quarter. She doesn't have one single Oscar moment and it left me wondering how much of her character was left on the cutting room floor. I'm not saying she was bad, she actually did do as much as she could with just her eyes and expressions but she just wasn't given anything to do. The role itself was just undeserving of her talents and thus the nomination was also undeserving. I'm still waiting for a proper follow-up to her absolutely deserved nomination for Animal Kingdom.
As for the movie itself, it is a very good movie but not a great one. No one directs crazy like David O Russell. The Fighter, I Heart Huckabees, and especially Flirting With Disaster are fucking awesome examples of this. Silver Linings Playbook is better than Huckabees but not on the level of his others in my opinion. I think his best is still Flirting With Disaster followed by The Fighter, Three Kings, Silver Linings Playbook, I Heart Huckabees and Spanking The Monkey, in that order. Silver Linings' ending just wound up too much like a typical rom-com for me to think of it a a great movie including the dance contest where everyone in the story (even thier own personal police officer?) shows up to cheer them on.
One problem I had even on first viewing is Jennifer Lawrence's character's psychic abilities. First when they get in a fight in front of the movie theatre(playing Midnight Meat Train, funny) and the only cop in Philly shows up, she somehow knows that his wedding song is playing in his head. Granted he mentions earlier in the film that he hears it sometimes even when it's not playing but how does she know it's the song and not the crazy situation they are in that is freaking him out. Later when he gets in a fight at the game, she is seen sitting in her dance studio waiting for him she gets up, storms out and storms into his house. Nobody mentions a fight or anything that happened that day and she somehow knows everything, yelling at DiNiro that the fight is all his fault. Maybe she called someone on the way over and got the story, I guess. Not a big problem but bothered me anyway.
Again, I liked it but there were too many typical rom-com conveniences for me to think of it as a great, Best Picture type of movie.