|The magical screen|
Une année merdique. A sh-$%&#@ year. From the look of things, this is what 2013 is shaping up to be. Wherever you turn, sick, tired, depressed people. Bad news in the media. Bad news all around. January in Seattle. 'Nuff said.
Au secours. Help. Beam me up Scotty! Take me to a fun, happy place. I know: Take me to the movies.
Before I even set a foot in a movie theater, as I watched old American western movies or comedies on TV with my family on rainy Sunday afternoons, Le cinéma has always been by my side, my oldest and most faithful friend. My readers know I love movies. And as I like to remind people, I have seen A LOT of them.
A few weeks ago, several friends mentioned a good movie I had to go see, but struggled to describe it to me. "Well, it sort of is a romantic comedy; but not really; well... at least not until the end... It's funny. And sad. It's hard to explain. Great actors. Oh and... [added as an afterthought] Bradley Cooper is the lead actor!"
Well... Why didn't you say so?
J'aime bien Bradley. I like Bradley. He would have deserved a better name, but I like Bradley.
He is a decent actor and is not afraid to tackle challenging and diverse roles. Ok. Let's be honest. Bradley also has looks. The eyes. The smile.
Mostly, I like Bradley because he seems like a nice guy. He is kind to his fans. He is a devoted son.
|Bradley et Maman|
Bradley's best friend is his dog, Charlotte. He never goes anywhere without her.
|Bradley and "his girl"|
Charlotte, the Chow mix, a rescue
|Traveling the world with Char'|
|Always there for his girl...|
Oh, and let's not forget one of the most interesting things about Bradley: He speaks fluent French. Quite impressive in an industry where so many of his colleagues barely speak English when they go off script, don't you think?
When Bradley toured Europe a couple of years ago to promote the Hangover II, and was interviewed - en français - on French TV, journalists - and women around the world - swooned. Yep. That's right, kids. Six months spent in a foreign country as an exchange student (Aix-en-Provence in Bradley's case,) will expand your horizons and enrich your resume...
|Bradley en France|
(if you need to be cheered up, scroll down to the end of the post for the video clip)
Oui, les amis, sounding smart, articulate, funny, and interesting in a foreign language is no small feat. Respect.
But I digress. This post was also about that movie my friends wanted me to see. By now, everyone and heard of "the little movie that could..."
Silver Linings Playbook has attracted a lot of attention, and is the first movie in 31 years to be nominated in all categories for the upcoming Academy Awards. The high caliber cast has been recognized, of course: Best Actor nomination (Bradley Cooper,) Best Actress (Jennifer Lawrence,) Best Supporting Actor (Robert de Niro,) Best Supporting Actress (Jacki Weaver.) Impressive.
In France, the movie has been renamed Happiness Therapy. Don't ask.
Watch out. Spoilers headed your way.
Scroll down to the video clip at the end of the post if you have not seen the movie yet.
When I stepped into the theater to watch Silver Linings Playbook, on that rainy Seattle morning, I did not know what to expect. I had not read much about it. I knew it was about a bi-polar guy, who had problems with anger management; and a troubled girl, who was vaguely nymphomaniac. It was a romantic comedy... or maybe it wasn't. You've got to give me credit, les amis: I don't get scared easily.
La chance sourit aux audacieux. Fortune rewards the bold: What a gem of a movie that was!
My friends did not get it right. Silver Linings Playbook is a romantic comedy, right from the start. It is just so sharp, so unconventional, and served by such a talented cast, that audiences are challenged, and destabilized, ten minutes into the movie.
Imagine that. An edgy, off-beat comedy, where lead actors actually have chemistry. A movie that is never predictable; entertains; makes you laugh (or cry) in the same scene. A movie that avoids traditional Rom-Com clichés, and shows grit and emotion. Utterly believable, and yet so dysfunctional... a bi-polar movie.
|Jennifer and Bradley:|
These kids have INSANE chemistry-- Let the rumor mill spin!
|The jogging scenes: my favorites|
(and who, other than Bradley, can look good wearing a GARBAGE BAG?!)
The director, David O. Russel, cast his actors well. I loved all the actors' performances, large or small.
|Bradley and Robert: Father and son.|
Is Silver Linings Playbook perfect then?
Non. I was disappointed when during the last ten minutes, things took a turn for... the predictable. It was as if, after challenging audiences for two hours and treating them like smart people, the screenplay writer and the director had decided all of a sudden to let them regroup and had thrown at them a satisfying, but all too easy Hollywood ending. Pass the popcorn. Make that a large one.
Dommage. Too bad.
Still, do not hesitate. Run and see Silver Linings Playbook. It does what movies are supposed to do: It challenges you; makes you think; entertains; and you will leave happy and (mostly) satisfied.
Chapeau! Hats off!
I am going to need a lot more like you, Silver Linings Playbook, if I am to survive the winter of 2013. Cinéma, mon ami, I am counting on you.
Need to smile? Skip the "Happy Pills:" Bradley parle Français ici...