Director: David O. Russell
Cast: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver, Julia Stiles
Grade: Whatever comes after A+
It’s ironic how “crazy” is so relatable. This has to be one of the most well-made, touching, and beautifully realistic films of the year.
Landing in over eight months of rehab after he almost beats his wife’s “romantic partner” to death, Pat Solitano (Cooper) moves back in with his parents: his Philadelphia Eagles obsessed father (De Niro) who believes in good lock and his son’s juju and his supportive, yet concerned mother (Weaver). To keep up his good physique and hopefully win back his wife, Pat runs around the neighborhood in a garbage bag (to sweat). He appears crazy to the nosy onlooker and due to his unstable health and undiagnosed bipolar disorder he is forced to attend therapy and take medication. Everyone walks on tiptoes around Pat, afraid he will breakdown again at any second. However, despite the fact that Pat talks “without a filter” and seems to be walking on thin ice, his supportive hometown friend Ronnie and his wife Veronica (Stiles) openly invite him to dinner. From there, Pat meets the depressed widow Tiffany (Lawrence) who has a reputation as the town whore. Pat sees past Tiffany’s character flaws and Tiffany desperately tries to save Pat from collapse.
The dance we take in life is beautifully choreographed, but at the same time there are mistakes. This film highlights on those by being a raw gripping character drama, but also a comedy…and that is the film’s silver lining. It’s in these moments of great distraught that we have to find our joy. As Pat’s therapist suggests, it’s our “strategy” for coping with life. The reason that this movie is so powerful and recognizable (aside from the incredible performances of the cast) is the fact that it’s grounded in reality. We appreciate our family for all of their quirks and every Sunday is the start of a whole new week and we cheer for a victory.