Thursday, May 3, 2018

Film geek abroad

I had a hard time keeping up with new film releases while living in Switzerland. That was partly because films I might have wanted to see weren't yet playing in Switzerland, if they ever were. And if a particular English language film I was interested in watching happened to be playing in a cinema near me, then I then would have to contend with a slew of subtitles, in both French and German, that I found visually distracting. Add to that a mandatory intermission in the middle of the movie that was just down right annoying. 

Fortunately, I was able to rent movies at home via my cable provider thus bypassing subtitles and mandatory breaks. Having heard very enthusiastic opinions on the film Silver Linings Playbook, I decided to rent it. Of course, the fact that the film was up for a number of awards, and, indeed, the lead actress in the film won an Oscar for her performance helped sway my selection of film. Part of the problem with watching films seemingly after every one else back home has watched them is that one can develop certain expectations based on having heard SO much feedback from friends and family. Everyone spoke about Silver Linings in superlatives:  that's my FAVORITE movie; her performance was the BEST; his portrayal of _________ was MOST convincing. I almost expected to be bowled over, but I wasn't.

I liked the film, but I didn't LOVE it. I thought the pacing was good and the story flowed fairly well. The performances were good, but not stupendous. I was, however, pleased to see Chris Tucker (The Fifth Element, anyone?) back in action after what feels like years and thought that his character was very well executed. Jennifer Lawrence is a good actress, but I would not say that her performance was Oscar-worthy. I mean she's hardly Meryl Streep in Sophie's Choice.

The incomparable Jacki Weaver who played Cooper's mother in Silver Linings...
I am not sure whether the film dealt accurately and sensitively with the issue of bipolar disorder, but I would say that those who suffer from said disorder would not necessarily be prone to violent outbursts and verbal diarrhea as Bradley Cooper's character, Patrick, was. Also interesting was the therapist's involvement in Patrick's private life: his partying down pre-game in the parking lot, his showing up at his client's house after being ejected from the game, and, finally, attending the dance contest with his client's family. One last niggle would be the issue of the restraining order. The estranged wife attends the dance contest, and, in doing so, Pat unwittingly breaks the conditions of the R.O. Patrick then sees his wife from across the room, walks to where she's sitting and engages in a tete-a-tete. The cop, who is seen throughout the film as someone trying to uphold the law, is sitting directly behind the estranged couple while they have their intimate chat and does not react. Really?

As far as rom-coms go, it's a clever take on an old formula with a groovy soundtrack as backdrop. I don't know if one 'totally has to see' this film, but for those of us who still haven't seen it, Silver Linings is worth a sit-through, if inclined.

11 comments:

  1. I thought I'd seen it, but your review doesn't sound familiar. Maybe I thought I saw it? Maybe I just don't remember it. Ah well. I miss a lot of new releases nowadays, and I've never lived abroad ;)

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  2. I am not a movie goer. I can watch some at home, but send other views batshit crazy because I like to stop and think about things. And perhaps rewind. And start again.
    Which is my books are my first choice.
    I was pleased to recognise Jackie Weaver though. I am usually totally ignorant.

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    1. Jacki Weaver's peformance was probably the best thing about this film, to be honest. I really dug her in Animal Kingdom, too.

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  3. Not a movie goer either - Perhaps one or two a year.

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    1. Funnily enough, now that I live back home, I rarely go to the cinema.

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  4. Dear Bea, thanks for your thoughts on this movie. I haven't seen it and probably won't. I seldom go to a movie theater because I no longer drive and no one I know really likes to sit in a theater. So I get all my movies from the library, which is quite a good one and has almost every film I ask for.

    This past week I watched "Ben Hur"--the version with Carlton Heston.I'd seen it when it came out all those years ago and as I watched again I realized just how much I remembered. Peace.

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    1. I have not seen Ben-Hur in forever!

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  5. I liked it and the fact they were crazy. Sounds mean, but I thought they were funny. I usually don't go for chick flicks or very many comedies, preferring suspense. I love Netflix and binge watch there. Saying that, I loved the movie, What About Bob. Bill Murray just slays me. So maybe I do like comedies. I really loved Cherry Blossoms, I think I told you that before. A German director filmed in Tokyo. Just loved it.

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    1. I know crazy isn't PC, but I'm out there and it doesn't bother me so sorry if it bothers others. Or maybe not.

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    2. Bill Murray in Caddy Shack (super un-PC) was super funny. I prefer Stripes, though.

      You like what you like & that is totally fine. :D

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