I critici americani su Silver Linings Playbook

Vincitore a Toronto dell’ambito Premio del Pubblico Silver Linings Playbook ha debuttato questa settimana in Limited Release negli Stati Uniti.

Spalleggiato dalla Weinstein Company, il film di David O.Russell (The Fighter), è tratto dal romanzo di Matthew Quick ed interpretato da Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro e Jackie Weaver.

Sul New York Times Manhola Dargis gli assegna il Critics’ Pick:

The story tracks the feverish, happy, sad, absurdly funny ups and downs of a head case named Pat Solatano, played by a surprisingly effective, intensely focused Bradley Cooper, just as he returns to his parents’ home after eight months in a mental institution. Pat had been put away for a scarily violent crime, but now, having shed fat and the defense it offered him, and feeding on the shiny philosophy of the title instead, he feels ready to tackle the world. The world may not be ready. […]

Shortly after he returns home Pat immediately takes up the physical and psychological regimen that he created while locked away and believes will win back his estranged wife, Nikki (Brea Bee). That she’s taken out a restraining order against him is a minor obstacle.

Pat’s struggle to get Nikki back serves as his nominal quest, the mission that catapults him out of the house and running around the neighborhood wearing a large plastic garbage bag. Pat is running side by side with — and sometimes being chased by — a neighbor, Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence, aching, tender, lovely). She enters the picture early during an entertainingly inappropriate dinner given by Pat’s friend Ronnie (John Ortiz, warmly appealing), and his bullying wife, Veronica (Julia Stiles, nicely chilled), an encounter that deeply unsettles Pat. […]

The world in “Silver Linings Playbook” looks different from the way it does in old screwball comedies, of course, but it too is racked by pain and worry, and there are lost jobs and pensions amid its hiccupping laughter. For all its high-flying zaniness the movie has the sting of life, and its humor feels dredged up from the same dark, boggy place from which Samuel Beckett extracted his yuks. “Silver Linings Playbook” is crammed with people talking and shouting and weeping and also yielding to what are sometimes called boundary issues but which here turn out to be the mad, loving scrambling of people finding and saving one another. These are characters who get in one another’s faces and occasionally punch a loved one right in the kisser. They must go on, they can’t go on, but together they do.

 Sul Los Angeles Times, Kenneth Turan è ancora più entusiasta del risultato e del suo autore:

Dramatic, emotional, even heartbreaking, as well as wickedly funny, it has the gift of going its own way, a complete success from a singular talent.

That would be the gifted writer-director David O. Russell, whose triumph with “The Fighter” two years ago marked a return to form after a spate of lean years. Russell, whose early successes include “Three Kings” and “Flirting With Disaster,” always brings intensity and passion to the proceedings: We aren’t coolly observing life in his films, we are compelled to live it full-bore along with his characters.

Turan appare entusiasta anche dei due protagonisti:

Though Lawrence has been memorable in films as diverse as “Winter’s Bone” and “The Hunger Games,” it’s still the pleasantest of shocks to see how terrific she is here in a completely different kind of fiercely comic, completely charismatic performance. Lawrence and Cooper face off in the most convincing way, matching each other stride for crazed stride.

Justin Chang su Variety sembra concordare sul possibile successo del film nelle classifiche di fine anno e nei premi dell’industria:

Never one to shy away from unlikely sources of comedy, David O. Russell tackles mental illness, marital failure and the curative powers of football with bracingly sharp and satisfying results in “Silver Linings Playbook.” Again bringing an invigorating edge to whip-smart mainstream fare a la “The Fighter,” the writer-director employs a twitchy visual syntax to match the dazzling verbal acumen of his two screw-loose leads, terrifically played by Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. Strong reviews and word of mouth should make this boisterous and heartfelt loser love story a year-end winner for the Weinstein Co. […]

In a script that never lapses into mundane or uninteresting language, the scenes between Pat and Tiffany are sculpted with an almost David Mamet-like sharpness, amplified onscreen by the intimacy and focus of Russell’s direction and the superbly harmonized lead performances. Exuding his usual cranked-up charisma, Cooper has one of his best roles here as a damaged soul whose misconceptions nonetheless hide an unimpeachable core integrity. Yet it’s Lawrence’s Tiffany who has the most dynamic effect on the picture, always pushing Pat into a defensive position and, remarkably, making him look like a model of sanity by comparison.

Roger Ebert sottolinea che il meccanismo da commedia classica è qui vivificato soprattutto dalla naturalezza degli attori, capaci di far dimenticare ogni sorta di trucco:

I love actors. I’ve been on an almost lifelong journey with Robert De Niro, and feel intimately familiar with him as an actor (not as a person). Here his work unobtrusively charmed my socks off. He’s harmlessly obsessed with the Eagles, gratefully in love with his wife and cluelessly supportive of his son, who he doesn’t realize is an apple who has fallen very close to the tree.

One of the ingenious and sort of brave accomplishments of Russell’s screenplay (inspired by a novel by Matthew Quick) is the way it requires both father and son to face and deal with their mental problems and against all odds finds a way to do that through both an Eagles game and a dance contest. We’re fully aware of the plot conventions at work here, the wheels and gears churning within the machinery, but with these actors, this velocity and the oblique economy of the dialogue, we realize we don’t often see it done this well. “Silver Linings Playbook” is so good, it could almost be a terrific old classic.

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Un pensiero riguardo “I critici americani su Silver Linings Playbook”

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