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Oscar®Oscar® Winner for Best Actress in a leading role
NOMINEE FOR: Best Picture, Best Directing, Writing (Adapted Screenplay), Actor in a leading role, Actor in a supporting role, Actress in a supporting role, Film Editing

Movie Review

Silver Linings Playbook also known as “The Silver Linings Playbook”

MPAA Rating: R for language and some sexual content/nudity.

Reviewed by: Thaisha Geiger

Very Offensive
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Moviemaking Quality:

Primary Audience:
Romance Comedy Drama
2 hr.
Year of Release:
USA Release:
November 21, 2012 (wide—420+ theaters)
DVD: April 30, 2013
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Relevant Issues
Copyright, The Weinstein Company

love and second chances

optimism / trying to look on the bright side of life

DEPRESSION—Are there biblical examples of depression and how to deal with it? Answer

What should a Christian do if overwhelmed with depression? Answer

losing wife to another man



Couple in love. Photo copyrighted
TRUE LOVE—What is true love and how do you know when you have found it? Answer
Sex, Love and Relationships
Learn how to make your love the best it can be. Discover biblical answers to questions about sex, marriage, sexual addictions, and more.

Gambling is toxic (1 Timothy 6:9-10)

lies (Luke 16:10)

Featuring: Jennifer LawrenceTiffany
Robert De NiroPat Solitano Sr.
Bradley CooperPat Solitano
Julia StilesVeronica
Chris Tucker … Danny
Shea Whigham
Dash Mihok
more »
Director: David O. Russell—“Three Kings,” “The Fighters,” “I Heart Huckabees
Producer: Mirage Enterprises The Weinstein Company
more »
Distributor: The Weinstein Company

“Watch for the signs”

Even though Pat (Bradley Cooper) nearly killed his wife’s lover or even though she now has a restraining order against him, Pat is extremely optimistic about winning back her affections. Diagnosed with a bipolar disorder, Pat checks out of a mental hospital to the care of his anxious mother (Jacki Weaver). One can understand her anxiety, since not only is her son unstable, her husband also has his own set of mental problems.

Pat returns home to find his dad unemployed and gambling away his savings on the Philadelphia Eagles. His severe obsession with the NFL team is accompanied with ritualistic superstitions and addiction to gambling. The one person who can understand Pat the best is Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence). Mourning the loss of her husband, she has gone through her own rounds of therapy and medications. Though Pat finds her to be crazier, she soon helps him focus by offering him a deal. She’ll sneak a letter to his wife, if he agrees to be her dance partner for an upcoming competition.

Along the way, Tiffany and Pat have interesting exchanges. While she might come off as more neurotic, she’s actually more level headed than Pat. Tiffany knows exactly what her weaknesses are and what she wants. Drowning in denial, Pat is judgmental towards her and believes himself superior and optimistic. As their dance practices continue, a mutual acceptance emerges, and they surprisingly balance each other out.

This film doesn’t really fit into one genre; it’s a blend of drama and comedy interwoven with eclectic themes. In essence, perhaps it aims to show that not one character is perfect or ever finds their perfect anecdotes. What they find, instead, is support for one another. The primary focuses are football, the dance, and Pat’s journey to a sense of normalcy and potentially winning back his wife. While the film’s unconventional plot progresses effectively, it’s given an unrealistically happy Hollywood ending.

***SLIGHT SPOILER*** Due to time, Tiffany’s back story is understandably sacrificed to instead show Pat’s growth. Because of this, she is not shown to have many admirable qualities, so I never really bought the romance crescendo suddenly added to the two leads at the end. When Pat recognizes her enormous deception, he only remains thankful for it, while he and his ex-wife share a replicated “Lost in Translation” whispering moment. The film would have been more realistic and powerful if it gave a well-written ambiguous ending to match the rest of the story’s strength, perhaps Tiffany and Pat beginning a new chapter in their lives, etc. ***END SPOILER***

“Sliver Linings Playbook” does a good job of showing what it is like to live with someone who is not mentally stable. Pat doesn’t have a mental filter and tends to blurt out what he’s thinking (Ephesians 4:29). His episodes and outbursts are a great burden to his family, but they never abandon him. The film tries to show the different “silver linings” in helping someone who has mental struggles. It reminded me 1 Peter 4:8-9:

”Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.”

Some more food for thought—Gambling is shown in a negative light. When Pat’s father gambles everything away, he doubles a bet, and his family begs him not to, saying that gambling is toxic (1 Timothy 6:9-10). Tiffany and Pat’s parents decide to lie to him. Though the mother is reluctant, the others state that little white lies don’t matter (Luke 16:10). For the majority of the film, Pat wants to save his marriage. He even tells his friend that marriages are worth saving, making his friend think twice about his own relationship (Ephesians 4:2-3).

Objectionable Content

Some violence and brief nudity are shown. Pat elbows his mother in her face, though it may have been accidental. Afterward, Pat and his father get into a fight. While his father is slapping him, Pat mostly tries to ward off his father by pushing away his face. Brief flashbacks are shown of how Pat discovered his wife and fellow colleague together in the shower. As Pat walks into the bathroom, he sees his wife’s derrière and a man on his knees. A removable shower head is wrapped around the man’s neck, implying strangulation. As his wife tries to fight him off, her breasts are sometimes seen in quick shots.

In all I counted about 103 uses of vulgarity and profanity, including 70+ f__k, “Oh my God” (7), “Jesus Christ,” “Jesus” (2), “G_d d_mn” (3), “Oh G_d,” “Oh J_sus,” “For G_d’s sakes,” “Oh my L_rd,” “God,” “d_cks,” “hells” (5), “ass” (4), “damn” (2), and 24 “sh_t.” Though no actual sex scenes, there are detailed sexual discussions. After her husband’s death, Tiffany mourned through promiscuity. This resulted in her sleeping with nearly everyone at her workplace. She told Pat that although she’s no longer like that, it’s still a part of her, and she likes that. During their first outing, Pat becomes very interested in her sexual past and asks for intimate details. Tiffany offers to sleep with him, as long as they turn off the lights. He, however, declines stating that he’s married.

In the end, I wouldn’t be surprised if this film receives some award nominations. The performances are top notch, and the script provides detailed insight into the life of a flawed, candid character. But the rushed happy ending and high amount of objectionable content prevent me from personally recommending “Silver Linings Playbook”.

Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Extreme / Sex/Nudity: Heavy to extreme

See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.

Viewer CommentsSend your comments
Comments below:
Positive—This was a bittersweet movie for me. My wife has been diagnosed as bi-polar. She is currently on medication and doing wonderfully well. Because of my wife’s situation, I probably viewed this movie through slightly different eyes than most. The emotional “rawness” is intense. The interactions portrayed authentically. The doubts, fears, choices of the characters all are shown in vivid detail. The language is extreme, but totally in character.

Without Jesus, this is how many lives look. I can’t imagine how my wife or I would deal with her condition without Him. If you’ve ever wondered what mental illness looks like, you might take a look at this and ask the Lord to give you compassion for those suffering—either personally or with a family member—and ask Him to open your eyes to people around you who need the grace and freedom that comes from accepting His gift of life and salvation.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Wade B, age 50+ (USA)
Positive—As Christians, we are called to live in the world, but not be a part of it. And we are called not to hide our light under a bushel. I work in the world, with co-workers who use profanity. I was not shocked by the amount of profanity that is in this movie. Cinematic art reflects our society—usually—and this movie is an example of a film that tries to show what life with a mentally ill family member is like, especially when the rest of the family has its own issues.

This is a remarkably complex and intelligent screenplay, directed and performed beautifully. I was impressed by the sensitive and profound performances of the lead actors, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence. The movie was not without virtue. Bradley Cooper plays a husband who wants his marriage to work out with all his heart, even though his wife has left him and the marriage and wants him to stay far away. He is careful to be faithful to her. I was impressed with the quality of this movie. I went to see why it has been nominated for so many awards and was pleasantly surprised.

But that does not mean that I approve the curse words or the violent anger or immoral actions. However, I am surrounded by people who live without the Lord Jesus Christ or the wisdom of the Bible, so I was able to accept it as the cinematic art that it is.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Very Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
Halyna Barannik, age 66 (USA)
Positive—I have seen this movie more than once. Besides the blasphemy, swearing, violence sexual innuendo and the gambling problem that Pat’s father had, this film really got what it deserved. It won Oscar and another 60 detailed wins for 2012.

I took a friend out who is Roman Catholic and when the movie was over, he walks out of the theater upset by the fact it was “morally inverted.” It is difficult to even explain why that is, but I could not see myself to fully agree with that. I didn’t want to argue but I really wanted to ask him “How is this movie morally inverted?” more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Better than Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Chris, age 20 (USA)
Positive—This is a movie worth watching. The acting was great. The characters were real and engaging. The subject matter of bipolar and other issues was handled with class. The emotions that this film brought out of me were curiosity, compassion, fear, humor, and joy.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Average / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Christopher Cardone, age 53 (USA)
Negative—I was recommended this movie by a Christian brother. So I decided to see it with my girlfriend. I felt really bad for bringing her to this movie. There was so much cursing, blasphemy and sexual innuendo. The acting was fine, but the movie could have had dealt with the same topics and issues without the cursing and blasphemy. Creators of this kind of movie should not be rewarded with our money. Ultimately, we had to leave the movie theater about half way through the movie.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Extremely Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4
—Mark Johnson, age 28 (USA)
Comments from young people
Positive—I never had much interest in this movie. In fact, I made a point not to see it in theaters because I supposed it to be naught more than another shallow romantic film. Yet once bored Friday I chanced to notice it in Redbox and decided it was worth a dollar, if not the eight of a movie ticket. I rather wish I had seen it on the silver screen. As expected from such a winning cast, the acting was believable and enthralling. Not once was the dialog anything less than stellar. The lighting, the cinematography, the makeup; everything was better than par. In short, from a completely secular viewpoint, the movie was fantastic.

The only qualm I have in that regard was the frequency of the f-word. It was used to slightly better effect than in some literary works I have read and some movies I have seen, but it was still distracting at times. From a moral aspect, of course, there is the aforementioned issue of the language. It is not, of course, anything worse than one would hear walking downtown in any major city in the world; this is to say, it is life unfiltered. The only other objectionable point was a scene of brief nudity, but I won’t say more for fear of spoiling the film. more »
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 4½
—Hayden, age 17 (USA)
Positive—The best film of 2012.
My Ratings: Moral rating: Offensive / Moviemaking quality: 5
—C, age 15 (USA)
Comments from non-viewers
Neutral—I didn’t see this movie, however… “Silver Linings Playbook” has about 75 F-words, so if you don’t mind being cursed at for two hours, knock yourself out. The word is it’s a good movie, so I recommend waiting for the cleaned up version to come out. …
—Greg Legakis, age 52 (USA)

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