Silver Lingings Playbook – Official Poster – from IMDB.com
Silver Linings Playbook (2012)
Director: David O. Russell
Writers: David O. Russell (screenplay), Matthew Quick (novel)
Stars: Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, Robert De Niro
Always look for a silver lining is the philosophy of Pat (Bradley Cooper) who has just spent time in a mental institution after being arrested for assault on his wife’s lover after he caught them in the shower together. Not a great way to find out that you have a bipolar or that your wife is cheating on you, especially when you are obsessive about your marriage. Pat is determined to get Nikki back. But there is a restraining order and her general not wanting to see him that is getting in the way of Pat restoring his marriage. In walks Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) the sister of his Ex’s best friend. Recently widowed and recovering from depression and a slight sex addiction, Tiffany and Pat form an unlikely friendship. Throw in a mix of Pat’s crazy parents and a large bet that goes wrong and you have Silver Linings Playbook.
Though the story line is your basic comical love story, it is the characters that make this film the fantastic film it is. From Bradley Cooper’s quirky and socially blunt mannerisms to Jennifer Lawrence’s swift mood swings and determination to Robert De Niro’s perfectly rational superstitious gambling habits, this film is filled with actors doing exactly what you want them to do, embody the characters. It’s no wonder that the actors in this film have received so many nominations for this film, they are extraordinary.
Silver Linings Playbook is fun and quirky and will charm the socks off you. It’ll stick with you and make you smile for weeks after seeing it from remembering Lawrence and Cooper’s performances.
The Hunger Games – Official Poster – from IMDB.com
The Hunger Games (2012)
Director: Gary Ross
Writers: Gary Ross (screenplay), Suzanne Collins (screenplay), Billy Ray (screenplay), Suzanne Collins (novel)
Stars: Jennifer Lawrence, Josh Hutcherson and Liam Hemsworth
I have to confess before I start that I am a huge fan of the Hunger Games books and so I had quite high expectations of the film but I was also always going to love the film because I am a fan. Hunger Games has been the first film craze that I’ve actually jumped on the band wagon with. I missed the Harry Potter fan phase and didn’t even attempt to get into Twilight because vampires creep me out. Hunger Games though I started reading before I knew there was going to be a film and I fell completely in love with the books and the characters. It is my favourite style of book, dystopian young adult fiction with a strong female lead who is seriously flawed, it appeals to me in so many ways. I was pumped for this film and also really nervous because I wasn’t sure whether my expectations would be crushed.
There is always that nervousness when filmmakers take a book and make it into a film that it may be adapted too freely and won’t be true to the story but for a book that is narrated by the main character and a female that is so withdrawn into her own world, The Hunger Games really lives up to expectations. I was drawn in from the very beginning by Jennifer Lawrence’s portrayal of Katniss and the environment that they show for District 12. There is something beautifully tragic about the district that unravels as Prim is chosen for the games and Katniss volunteers. The eeriness of the crowd and their response to her volunteering, the abruptness of Effie’s selection of Peeta. My favourite thing about The Hunger Games, apart from Lawrence’s faithfulness to Katniss, was the soundscape and music. It surprised me how well the music fit with the scenes. The costuming, the landscapes, the evil career tributes and the beauty of Rue were other highlights for me. There was of course bits that were disappointing for a fan of the books, but there will always be with the adaptation of book to film. If you haven’t read the books then there are parts that aren’t as terrifying as they are in the books but the way they create the gamemakers headquarters is brilliant and I completely fell in love with Seneca Crane even though he was evil. The Hunger Games is one of those teen franchises but unlike Twilight, there are strong characters to be looked up to, deep subject matter to be considered and questions of morality and right versus wrong that need asking of our own society and culture.
The Hunger Games is a goo action adventure film all on its own and I would definitely recommend you see it. There are moments in the film which I wish were longer – the kiss in the cave was seriously underwhelming – and characters I wish we saw more of – Haymitch and Cinna – but it is the kind of film that I will watch over and over again and will find something new to appreciate each time. I just can’t wait to own it on DVD and watch all the extras like a good little fangirl.