Guys, I'm a little bit nervous about the upcoming Academy Awards ceremony. Silver Linings Playbook, which I saw on opening day last year, has been nominated for eight Oscars. Its odds of landing some category are pretty high, but that's what I thought about Brokeback Mountain, which only received three of its eight noms in 2006.
This sort of underwhelming fate is to be expected for over-hyped movies, but I'd like to think Silver Linings Playbook is going to take home at least one little golden man come Sunday evening. Here are a few reasons this needs to happen.
1. It addresses mental health issues
Everyone's a little bit off in this film, just like in real life! Pat (portrayed by Bradley Cooper, nominated for Best Actor) has inherited his father's (played by Robert DeNiro, nominated for Best Supporting Actor) bipolar tendencies, and after Pat learns his wife is cheating on him, he snaps and winds up in a mental hospital. Upon his release, he meets Tiffany (played by Jennifer Lawrence, nominated for Best Actress), a recovering widow who sleeps around to cope with her loss. They're not the only characters with baggage, either, and this film proves that nobody is totally sane.
2. It incorporates comedy into immense tragedy
There's much to be sad about in Silver Linings Playbook: unrequited love, death, heartbreak, mental illness, unemployment, etc. There is also lots to laugh about, and that's why this film is classified as a comedy as well as a drama. Jennifer Lawrence's sassy onscreen persona and Pat's garbage bag-wearing habit provide many laughs, and the same goes for Pat's sweet but perpetually concerned mother (portrayed by Jacki Weaver, nominated for Best Supporting Actress).
3. It has a sports/Philadelphia culture element to it
I'm not going to pretend to know the first thing about sports (or the Philadelphia Eagles), but athletics play a major role in this film. The father is obsessed with the Eagles, so when they do well, all is right in the world for Pat's family. When they lose, everything falls apart, but Tiffany points out that the team always thrives on days she hangs out with Pat. The Eagles/Philadelphia inclusion really gives viewers a glimpse into the culture of this particular city, and it's always nice to see what other places are like.
4. It examines the problem with pretending everything is fine and perfect
Julia Stiles portrays a shallow yuppie who thinks she is, to poach a phrase from Tiffany, "mentally superior" to those around her, particularly her younger sister Tiffany and Pat. We quickly learn that her husband is miserable and that their marriage isn't so great, despite the false image they paint of their lives. You can never have too many reminders that pretending everything is awesome all the time brings nothing but trouble.
5. Its most damaged character makes the most sense
Pat's dad believes Tiffany is a bad influence, and Pat thinks she's twisted, but Tiffany understands more about life and luck than everyone combined.
6. Jennifer Lawrence
This one needs no explanation.