Dr. Oz Goes to Bat for Silver Linings

Despite the many complaints about the film for painting mental illness as a cutesy quirk that can be easily erased with meds, Dr. Oz has tied it in with the subject of “mental illness” as portrayed in Silver Linings Playbook. This helps lend the romantic comedy with “gravitas,” giving voters the opportunity to vote for something “important.”

In many ways, managing mental illness represents the final frontier of medicine because we struggle with the painful reality of coping with an invisible ailment that sneaks up on us unpredictably and has overt consequences on families and communities. But we are surrounded by differing degrees of mental illness in ourselves, in relatives we love, and in some people that we should fear. I was thrilled to witness this reality addressed so tenderly in the hit movie, Silver Linings Playbook.

 The movie’s humor cracks our natural defense against “messed up people” so wisdom and insight penetrates into our psyche. More importantly, solutions for the unlikely protagonists come from unexpected places as profoundly flawed people complement each other’s ailments. An institutionalized manic-depressive man (Pat Jr.) is freed by his loving mother who is willing to lie to her obsessive, compulsive gambler husband (Pat Sr.) to give the boy another chance. Pat Sr.’s first question after being surprised by his son’s return is, “Are you taking the right dosage?” Pat Jr. falls in love with a complimentarily strange woman and they awaken a dormant sense of hope by understanding each other without judgment. The movie shows us the humanity and similarities in the lives of those who are challenged with major disorders.

Yeah, I don’t know.  I can buy it as a quirky romcom with quirky, lovable characters who stick it out no matter what but it becomes a little more hard to buy when embedded with the seriousness Dr. Oz talks about here.   Many of the commenters over at the Huffington Post respond to that — and I hope the HuffPo will post a rebuttal to this.  There is no “controversy” attached to Silver Linings Playbook but one could easily be made out of the casual depiction of just popping a few pills and having everything turn out all right.  It isn’t that simple.  It’s just a movie, but Dr. Oz is opening the door to the discussion so I hope there will be an actual debate.

Silver Linings Playbook Featurette

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106 Comments

  1. Diana
    January 22, 2013

    I’m not seeing the controversy in his comments. They are totally in line with the title — indeed the whole point — of the film. Maybe he just liked the movie.

  2. representDLV
    January 22, 2013

    “one could easily be made out of the casual depiction of just popping a few pills and having everything turn out all right.”

    That is not what the movie depicts at all. The movie shows Pat Jr. taking meds, making a plan, going to therapy, exercising, and being involved in positive, constructive activities. It doesn’t show him totally conquering his illness, but it does show him progress. It doesn’t make it seem easy. He has to deal with all sorts of struggles while trying to get his life in order. I personally know people with Bi Polar disorder (similar to Pat’s) that learned to cope with their illness with a combination of medication, therapy, exercise, and healthy relationships.

    Why are you trying to make issues out of non issues?

  3. January 22, 2013

    I see your point represent. But I also see Sasha’s. by dealing with the subject matter within its plot conventions, it opens itself up.

    The film does try to be realistic. But most people dealing with bipolar don’t up with a hot young witty smart caring lovable partner at the end who don’t mind that you don’t have a job or a clear future.

    Yeah it’s only a movie. Yes. But …

  4. January 22, 2013

    Well he’s right about the movie, but I still don’t trust him on that curly poop stuff.

    (SPOILERS)
    I thought the movie was sort of anti-meds. He spit them out originally. Then when they first met they were basically talking about all the different ones and what they do, like they didn’t help. Then later I don’t remember seeing him taking anything. He said he did, but I thought he was lying.

  5. representDLV
    January 22, 2013

    You’re right most people don’t end up with the hot girl. But it can happen and it doesn’t happen. Pat finding a “silver lining” and learning to cope with his illness is not unrealistic or far fetched and it’s far from dangerous. Randy going along with the parlay and betting on the dance competition is the unrealistic part.

  6. January 22, 2013

    Pat Jr. falls in love with a complimentarily strange woman and they awaken a dormant sense of hope by understanding each other without judgment.

    What might be more hopeful would be for people to stop regarding a non-judgemental attitude towards mental illness as a positive thing in its acceptance and open-mindedness. Imagine a medical professional applauding a film for adopting a non-judgemental attitude towards physical illness. Well done girl with cancer, you’ve managed to find a way to accept guy with septicaemia! It’d be preposterous.

    Anyway, calling her ‘strange’ doesn’t help.

    Many medical professionals with whom I have been in contact have had a rather closed-minded attitude towards mental illness. That’s what I’d say is strange.

  7. PJ
    January 22, 2013

    I saw SLP for 3rd time this weekend. Pat was never shown to be “healed.” Just happy. There is a difference.

  8. 123 Fake Street
    January 22, 2013

    Not crazy about the rather unsubtle quotes, Sasha :/

    Silver Linings worked for me, mainly as a piece of filmmaking and performance showcase. But even its thematics based around self-improvement and finding love despite anxieties gave me a degree of hope despite my usual tendency toward cynicism.

    Here’s my overshare (hence the pseudonym) to maybe help lend some perspective on SLP: I’m not bipolar but I do have severe clinical depression mixed in with anxiety and delightful suicidal thoughts. Walls closing in, malaise, no relationships, wasted talents…With my shrink, I’m on a plan based around social integration and rooting out the issues behind my behaviors and thoughts. Medication, at least for now, isn’t a part of my recovery. Working out has been the one thing over the last few years that has kept me sane and grounded (endorphins, making schedules, self-esteem). Most of my lingering issues deal with isolation from people and I KNOW that were I to engage with others socially and open myself up to romance, my life would improve significantly. I wouldn’t be CURED and bad habits are a bitch to break. But ending the movie with two people curled up in their chair was fine by me. I identified with Pat a bit, the closed off father, the obsession with working out, being pissed off with Hemingway…And I’ve always been more attracted to women who shared an darker side, an edge. Someone like Tiffany (or a female version of Pat) wouldn’t put me off because I’ve BEEN there, I’ve lived through all the garbage and I feel completely removed from people who haven’t. It’s my own hangup, obviously, but I could COMPLETELY understand how Pat and Tiffany came together even if logic dictates their staying apart at any cost.

    To anyone put off by SLP’s ending, I mean, Lincoln doesn’t end with shots of “Whites only” and lynchings and Klan hoods. Ending slavery was a big step toward equality but there was a whole lot of shit that followed. I like to think that for Pat and Tiffany, embracing each other was the big, initial step. They’ll have their own shit, but then so does any couple. They found a silver lining in a big, nasty storm cloud and it would have been pointless to end with them in a pharmacy.

  9. Matt
    January 22, 2013

    As someone who’s suffered from similar issues, I agree it may be an overly optimstic portrayal, but I do think it does a good job at identifying some of the harsh realities of mental illness (the mirroring of Pat and his father is the most fascinating aspect of the film, if you ask me). Look, Russell said he made the film for his son and to help give him hope. I don’t necessarily think that excuses it from portraying mental illness in a bit of a cutesy light (at least in the 3rd act, I think the first two acts or so is one of the more genuine depictions I’ve seen in a Hollywood film), but I don’t think it lessens the film per say and Russell stating that he made the film to give his son and people like that hope is a reasonable explanation for presenting a more ‘resolved’ scenario than some would have liked to see. I don’t think the film says that Pat is ‘cured’, more that Pat has found someone with whom he can co-exist within his own lunacy. I like the film a good deal, though the 1.5 hours or so hinted at something that I might have fell hard in love with (like I said, I don’t think the 3rd act is bad as it is more problematic than the 1st and 2nd acts).

  10. James
    January 22, 2013

    A relationship with Tiffany would not exactly be healthy.

  11. representDLV
    January 22, 2013

    Well said 123 fake street.

  12. Mark I
    January 22, 2013

    123 Fake Street…that was THE best assessment of SLP I’ve read anywhere. Thank you so much.
    I love the film…my favorite of the year. I never once believe Pat was cured, and wouldn’t continue to have problems. But does anyone really need to see yet another film end on a down note?
    God bless David O. Russell and Matthew Quick for the story and characters in Silver Linings Playbook.

  13. Matt
    January 22, 2013

    Mark I: I think some of the people that have been saying that Tiffany cured Pat or Pat had been cured in anyway are trying to project some sort controversy onto a film they don’t think is worthy of awards. This is unfortunately how cynical these awards things have gotten. Look, it’s not my favourite film of the year, but that’s a ridiculous and rather ignorant argument. The film ends on a loving note, but life is filled with both light and dark moments and I agree it was nice to see the film dealing with some of these issues (rather well) end on a hopeful note.

  14. James
    January 22, 2013

    I just wouldn’t have minded if he took a pill sitting on the chair with Lawrence. It doesn’t give the impression that he’s cured, but it doesn’t give the impression that he’s still struggling either.

  15. Zach
    January 22, 2013

    Whatever, Dr. Oz wouldn’t be doing it if Oprah had a dog in the race.

  16. steve50
    January 22, 2013

    Well said, Zach. It comes to the same thing – endorsement. Dr Oz, Dr Phil, Dr Oprah – they are showbiz first, practitioners second; otherwise they’d be helping patients rather than hitting their marks.

  17. Sasha Stone
    January 22, 2013

    123 fake street, a little TMI backstory FOR YOU – my father was put in a mental hospital when I was a little kid. He had very very severe problems which he was treated for, which he has struggled with his whole life and all three of his children have struggled along with him. I have been permanently damaged not just by him but by his marriage to my mom and how difficult my childhood was. I don’t whine about it often but it is there and believe me, it isn’t as Silver Linings makes it out to be. Also, what it tells you is that a girl as beautiful as Jennifer Lawrence, as strong and sassy and sexy whose only drawback is being slutty will A) chase you down, B) forgive ALL of your faults, C) lie to you, D) eventually “take care of you” is so phony I can’t believe anyone would find even entertainment-truth in that. Jim Brooks’ As Good as it Gets addresses this FAR FAR BETTER. Why, well because for starters the Helen Hunt character is a HUMAN BEING with her own desires, goals, flaws. She isn’t just here I am sloppy and dirty aren’t I a hottie? You bet I am – come and get me big boy. He has to try to win her over. Why, because she is of value – a whole human being not a plot device. Do people even know the difference anymore? Our standards have been so dramatically lowered, slowly, over time that the sitcom that is Silver Linings passes for actual depth. It’s stunning.

    Moreover, to hint that it in any way addresses actual mental illness simply adds insult to injury to me – oh wouldn’t it be great if all of the people with autism and bi-polar disorder could just take a happy pill and all would be right with the world? Yes, it would be great. Dr. Oz further complicates matters by bringing in Sandy Hook.

    Mental illness isn’t some quirky little attribute to make a guy more sympathetic to win Oscars — you want to see what real mental illness looks like? Take a long good look at Adam Lanza. Now, whatever he had he WAS being treated for – ditto the Columbine kids. Guess what, they DID take meds and guess what? They still committed mass murder. It isn’t always the case of course but it is a lot more complex and complicated than SLP makes it out to be.

    I was willing to let this part of it go but Dr. Oz opened the can of worms — so now it’s fair game. No, I have been touched and damaged by mental illness and I can’t just laugh it off, aren’t they SO cute together?

    Finally, David O. Russell made a brilliant film called Flirting with Disaster – imagine a world where women were actually human beings with thoughts and ideas all their own! They weren’t blow-up dolls designed for maximum male enjoyment while getting nothing but crumbs he lays out in return.

    This is not a movie that stands up well under analysis – it’s best left to what it REALLY is – a fantasy like Notting Hill or Pretty Woman.

  18. Sasha Stone
    January 22, 2013

    I saw SLP for 3rd time this weekend. Pat was never shown to be “healed.” Just happy. There is a difference.

    Right so the next time he isn’t happy he’ll what, pop Tiffany in the mouth?

  19. Sasha Stone
    January 22, 2013

    I’m not seeing the controversy in his comments. They are totally in line with the title — indeed the whole point — of the film. Maybe he just liked the movie.

    He is endorsing the film FOR the Weinstein Co. He is putting his doctor’s seal of approval on its treatment of mental illness like Bill Clinton put his endorsement on Lincoln. Same thing. Nothing ever happens during the Oscar race, right in the middle of voting, by chance. Please.

  20. rufussondheim
    January 22, 2013

    Just to be clear, Eric Harris (of Columbine) was not mentally ill. He was a psychopath. There is a difference. It’s a personality disorder, not a mental illness. Dylan Klebold, on the other hand, was an angry depressive.

  21. Aaron B
    January 22, 2013

    You can’t honestly be lumping everyone with any sort of mental illness into one group of people. And what does autism have to do with any of this? There are such a wide range of people who are mentally ill as well as a large range of people who are autistic.

    Not everyone with mental illness is going to beat someone or shoot up a school, believe it or not.

  22. rufussondheim
    January 22, 2013

    But Pat did. He has a violent past.

  23. PJ
    January 22, 2013

    Right so the next time he isn’t happy he’ll what, pop Tiffany in the mouth?

    No, because Pat actually has a support system now. He has his ex-wife. He has Tiffany. He has his friend. He has his dad. He has his brother. He has his therapist. That was different from before where he was talking to himself about his issues in the beginning of the film.

    The key to the film, the key to Pat’s character is when Pat and Tiffany are talking after she first starts chasing him and she brings up how she dealt with the passing of her husband where she banged everyone in the office, is that she likes that part of herself and can Pat say the same? He can’t answer. This question is repeated in very next scene with the therapist and he still can’t answer.

    How does he end up finding the answer though? Not within himself but by helping others. Like his brother in the fight, tiffany with her dance, his dad with the eagles, and his friend with his marital issues. So, SLP is not espousing that finding a pretty girl can heal you. It is espousing that a lot of crazy sad stuff happens and that you have to find the silver lining in it to find happiness.

  24. steve50
    January 22, 2013

    “He is endorsing the film FOR the Weinstein Co.”

    Absolutely, Sasha. Just like bussing seniors from the home to TKS or, for The Artist, this:
    http://www.zimbio.com/pictures/y-gSNOz4aM6/Uggie+Dog+Red+Carpet/y2CLnKD198L

    Dr. Oz is SLP’s Uggie!

  25. James
    January 22, 2013

    Although the funny thing about Pat is that his episodes are so easily provoked. It’s safe to say there is a chance a man without bipolar disorder would also beat the hell out of the man who screwed his wife who unrealistically said “You should go.” when he should have been running for the hills. Also when his brother conveniently gets caught up in the fight at a football game, it’s once again possible that he would have gotten involved without a mental influence. He has one scenario when he’s looking for his wedding tape and hits his mom which is a scene that is so tonally off. Should I be laughing like some audience members? Should I be shocked and horrified? That’s the closest Pat gets to doing something alienating or polarizing.

  26. January 22, 2013

    He has one scenario when he’s looking for his wedding tape and hits his mom which is a scene that is so tonally off. Should I be laughing like some audience members? Should I be shocked and horrified?

    I’ve been trying to warn you guys for weeks that Silver Linings Playbook is the prequel to In the Bedroom.

    The only reason it seems to end happily is because it ends before the gun show comes to town.

  27. Andrea
    January 22, 2013

    Thank you Sasha for sharing your story. I agree with you 100%

    As a woman, SLP is one of the more offensive movies to come out of Hollywood in a long time. It is sad our standards are so lowered it is embraced. Women in the industry are cowards for not speaking out more against these types of male fantasies and the men have deep issues if this is the type of female character they create and celebrate.

  28. 123 Fake Street
    January 22, 2013

    Look, my father was an addict who drank himself to death thanks to whatever was going on inside his head. My childhood memories aren’t good and that’s one of the reasons why I’m a mess. But one of the elements of life that kept me functioning through all his bullshit and mine was….HUMOR.

    I could find degrees of humor and hope in my life AND what was on screen and I can say, very confidently, that movies (and music) have literally kept me alive because they allow me to disappear into different worlds. I watched Silver Linings as someone in a lot of pain and when it finished, I was impressed by what I saw. Mental illness doesn’t play as integral a role in the plot as, say, alcoholism and Leaving Las Vegas but it’s more about self-improvement and finding hope after reaching personal low points. I believed the feelings and actions of the characters because I’ve shared them and when Sasha dismisses the entire film because it doesn’t match her own personal experience, she’s taking too narrow an approach.

    Sasha and others didn’t respond to Silver Linings because they thought it cheapened or ignored the realities of mental illness. Fine, but no movie released in 2012 was universal. And in MY experience, I found a lot to love within Silver Linings and I get annoyed when people put blanket theories over it. It’s one thing to dislike it but to call a movie’s treatment of mental illness phony isn’t accurate. To me it was realistic and honest.

    Leaving Las Vegas isn’t the story of every alcoholic. Silver Linings isn’t the story of every bipolar person. Christ, Catherine Zeta Jones is bipolar. My mom’s best friend is bipolar and she runs her own business. Some people who are bipolar can hardly get out of bed. Some commit heinous acts. Most don’t. There’s a range to mental illness and I like the idea of a movie that says, “Even if you struggle, you can find happiness.” To say the ending of Silver Linings is cheap and unfair certainly gives bipolar people a death sentence, doesn’t it? And Tiffany does have a goal. Her dance competition. In the throws of depression, simple goals that give you something to plan and schedule is a HUGE step to take and is the best way to reintroduce yourself to the world. That’s why I signed up for acting classes. Someplace to be, with people, doing something that I care about. Silver Linings is about emerging from grief and taking the early steps toward recovery. It DOES NOT say the characters are fixed, just that they’re on the way.

  29. Jerry Grant
    January 22, 2013

    Totally in line with representDLV and 123 Fake Street

  30. representDLV
    January 22, 2013

    Sasha, Silver Linings Playbook is not a movie about the complexities of mental illness. It’s not about bi polar disorder. It’s not about depression. It’s also not about dancing or football. It’s a movie about ways to find good amidst the bad. It’s about a playbook on how to find silver linings. I think you may want to look up what “silver linings” means, because it seems like you don’t understand the idiom.

  31. James
    January 22, 2013

    PJ, if that is his support system then Pat is in some serious trouble. The mother is caring enough, but I rather have a family that don’t plan behind my back assuming what’s best for me while trying to get what they want as well. Pat Senior seems to care only if his gambling pays off first. The brother says ridiculous things like “Oh man. This is awkward. I’m successful and you’re not.” Of course I’m paraphrasing. He says things that only a movie character would say to a brother who just got out of the hospital. I was waiting for De Niro to realistically grab the brother and pull him in to the other room and say “Dude. What the f*ck? I said you’re brother will be here on the phone and for you to play nice.” As for Lawrence’s Tiffany, lying and manipulating aren’t the best traits.

  32. rufussondheim
    January 22, 2013

    And what happens to that support structure five years down the line.

    Oh, shit, I can’t believe I’m discussing this. I must be crazy myself even pretending this movie rings true.

  33. January 22, 2013

    “I must be crazy myself even pretending this movie rings true.”

    There has to be a silver lining in there.

  34. PJ
    January 22, 2013

    James, I am not really sure if you actually saw the movie or else you really wouldn’t be saying anything like that. So what if Tiffany lied? Pat knew she was lying….? Did you miss that? So what if his brother tried to antagonize him….Pat defended him at the fight in the parking lot…? Did you miss all that? Why should Pat Sr. need to grab the brother when Pat Jr gave him a hug?….. very confused.

  35. rufussondheim
    January 22, 2013

    Silver Lining = At least the movie didn’t give me a parasitic worm infestation.

  36. steve50
    January 22, 2013

    ^ still too early to be sure of that, rufus.

  37. James
    January 22, 2013

    Yes. I get that he was okay with her lying, but in reality he wouldn’t be. It wasn’t in her position to do so. She can’t close that door. She shouldn’t close that door. He wants a real letter from his actual wife. I know I would. As for the brother, I get that Pat defended him because he’s a good brother and a good sport. He dismissed his brother’s obnoxious and condescending comment, but I don’t see how his brother is good support. Pat Jr. is trying to remain calm, but Pat Sr. should still talk to that brother because he was completely out of line.

  38. unlikely hood
    January 22, 2013

    After Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004) and Clementine saying “I’m just a fucked-up girl who’s lookin’ for my own peace of mind” I thought filmmakers wouldn’t make more 2-D lead females.

    Of course, after Passion of the Christ (2004) I thought filmmakers wouldn’t make any more foreign-set films in English.

    Wrong on both counts.

  39. Mel
    January 22, 2013

    A relationship with Tiffany would not exactly be healthy.

    Exactly. That shit is a recipe for disaster. Pat is violent! It is not cute. His Father is violent. The whole family is a complete shit show, but I really feel we are supposed to think they are cute as hell and all of this is ok.

    It is a hideous slap in the face to anyone living with or who has lived through having a bi-polar family member. Pat is not just “a little bi-polar” he has a serious violent streak and anger control issues. Like Sasha, I grew up with a mentally ill parent who was committed to institutions more than once and one time actually by a court. There is nothing cute about this existence. You know who was probably the most miserable person in that movie? Jackie fucking Weaver, but she just gets portrayed as some cutesy lil old Mom taking care of her crazy men. It is NOT ok.

    You can make a movie with the goal of giving mentally ill people hope without belittling the pain it causes and mocking the suffering of families who deal with this shit in real life. It’s not romantic, it’s not cute, it’s not feelgood and it is lifelong.

    This movie is just terrible. I saw it two days ago and felt completely outraged. My guess is most people aren’t saying anything b/c guess what? Those of us dealing with this, we want a fucking silver lining too, we wish this shit was true, but it’s not. You get old enough and live with it long enough, you know the score…..and it just makes you angry, honestly. My family has lived for over 40 years hoping for a silver lining and you know what that gets you? Nothing but more pain. It’s best to deal with the reality and accept what life is going to be and deal with it realistically. This movie is nothing more than another enabling crutch and a slap in the face to the reality of the situation.

    Constantly telling people all they have to do is think positive is so condescending and pushing aside the realities of life. It is not helpful. It is hurtful. I’m guessing people love it b/c you get to stick your head in the sand and feel happy and hopeful b/c you have just been fed a crock of bullshit. There are ways to deal with the realities of life and still inspire hope….ask Ben Zeitlin, he made a little movie called Beasts of the Southern Wild this year and that film did it perfectly, smartly, creatively and beautifully.

  40. Matt
    January 22, 2013

    Sasha, you do realize there are differnt levels and severities of bi-polarity and mental illness, correct? I think you’re looking at this from far to much of a narrow-viewed mindset.

  41. Matt
    January 22, 2013

    Yes, Beasts of the Southern Wild, the film that glorifies poverty, what a perfect example..

  42. January 22, 2013

    It’s important to remember just how dangerous Pat Jr is. I’m not saying I would have acted any differently. But, if I had acted like Pat Jr, I don’t think any “silver lining” should be found in two hours time. And, if there were, I’m sorry, but I did not earn the adorable, lovable, gorgeous, witty Tiffany (who sleeps around, but when she looks and acts like Jennifer Lawrence, does it really matter?). I keep going back and fourth with this movie. I admit, I laughed some, because there were some funny moments. But there is some serious darkness which makes me question the conventional rom-com approach. Additionally, it doesn’t help that B. Cooper wasn’t that good. Maybe I should watch the movie again. It has been over two months. Rental.

    But, truth be told, SLP has added to the Oscar conversation. I hope Sasha is correct and the conversation does not end here. But, yes, the ending should have at the very least been a little more “cloudy.” Silver Linings? That ending was a glitter cloud sh!tting rainbows. Let’s face it.

  43. Alex
    January 22, 2013

    Everyone has their own baggage. I have a neurotic, compulsive, and insomniac father, a mother with turrets and ADHD and possibly bipolar disorder, a bipolar uncle, a depressive grandmother (God bless her soul I love that woman, she’s been depressed ever since my grandfather – who had parkinson’s – passed away unexpectedly after an aneurism; walking home one day from school and finding out that the man I’d lived with for 15 years was dead sure did one on me, too), and one of my sisters has OCD and asperger’s. I’m in college and I’m currently on sertraline due to manic depression and suicidal tendencies/attempts (without my parents knowing, of course, because they would freak out and try to pull me out of school). Do I have it as bad as others? FUCK NO, in fact, I’m actually really, really well-off. But if I am messed up, is it because my parents are messed up? Probably not … I think I’m messed up because of my own personal stuff going on – I could easily have been as normal as my older sister, and we share the same family.

    Does this movie represent every single person with mental illness? No, it doesn’t. Now, going in to the movie I was afraid it would try to portray depression and mental illness as a cute quirk. But the scenes where Cooper is fighting with DeNiro – that was painful to watch, and it hit home. I have felt myself in that place many, many times, and it was painful to watch. Like somebody wrote previously, these are people who are actually doing things to try to make their worlds better. Are they perfect? Far from it. They made huge mistakes. But they do try. And no, life won’t always have a cutesy ending, but hopefully it’ll have its moments – otherwise it wouldn’t be worth living. Even at the end of As Good As It Gets, Brooks doesn’t make it clear whether or not Nicholson and Hunt are going to stay together – their relationship is as good as it’ll get, and personally I left the movie with the feeling that …. it probably won’t work out, even if they do try sincerely to make it work. Nicholson wasn’t magically cured by the end – Hunt was a near-saintly woman in that movie, but will she put up with him forever? Not so sure about that. But they’re trying.

    If anything movies like Black Swan and The Silence of the Lambs and We Have To Talk About Kevin have done WAY more to stigmatize mental illness than Silver Linings will likely do to contribute to the idea that mental illness is “all in your head.” It’s a journey, and a hella tough one, but would I be happy to be with a girl who isn’t perfect but will share the silver linings in life with me? Even if it might not work out in the future? Sure, I’ll take it.

    Silver Linings isn’t a perfect movie, but then again no movie is. I think it should be open to criticism (and tons of it, and I think a lot of Sasha’s is valid) because it DOES tackle a huge issue that should be addressed in this country. However, to say that it portrays mental illness as a cutesy quirk is not fair at all to the film, or to those who may get a bit of hope from it.

  44. Matt
    January 22, 2013

    I’m with Alex, I think if people dealing with some of these issues can gain some hope from the film, I don’t see what the problem is? I mean, it’s not a documentary or tries to even say ‘This is a 100% accurate portrayal of mental illness’. This is such a non-conversation with people attempting to drum up some sort of controversy from it, because every awards movie apparently needs some. So what if Dr. Oz thinks it’s an accurate portrayal? To a large extent it is, the ending is too pat, but if Russell’s reasoning to make the film was to give people dealing with these issues like his son hope, then that’s a reasonable explanation for it being pat. Does it lessen its portrayal of mental illness? Yes, probably, but I don’t think it lessens the film all that much, and if it gives someone struggling with some of these issues a reason to try and push forward, is that really a bad thing? Isn’t that the making of a film worthy of acclaim?

  45. Zach
    January 22, 2013

    Sasha, thank you for sharing your personal story, and feel free to make a whole post TEARING DOWN THIS MOVIE. At its best it’s an uneven, contrived affair. At its worst, despite good intentions, it seems to make a mockery of mental illness, but what do I know, since you’ll get a post every few days from someone saying her sister is a nurse or bipolar and loved it.

    I generally like Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence, De Niro, even Weaver in Animal Kingdom. And I though The Fighter was terrific. But I hate to see shit get vaunted to the top of the awards spectrum because of who’s in it or who produced or directed it or its political message or because it’s the feel-good movie of the year. And they’re trying to shove this one down our throats like it’s the “little movie that could,” even though we all know that honor this year goes to Beasts of the Southern Wild or Amour or even The Sessions. In fact, I notice for an acclaimed rom-com with two big draws, it isn’t making big bucks. Isn’t it telling when America would rather see the Osama Bin Laden terrorism drama? I know the B.O. figures are close and could change, but it’s not like we have the next Shakespeare in Love here.

    As Good as It Gets was never something I was raving about at the time, even in the lead acting categories, but it’s so much more well-defined, naturalistic, and believable than Silver Linings.

    I’ve complained on this site about many things, and don’t plan to stop anytime soon! But if Silver Linings Playbook wins Best Picture…it will be my least favorite winner since No Country for Old Men, which I didn’t even like, but could at least respect for Javier Bardem’s chilling performance and the sound design. I liked The Hurt Locker and The King’s Speech, but I hated that they won. I was disappointed about The Artist beating Hugo. I don’t even feel that strongly about Lincoln, but SLP movie wins, the Oscars have lost all credibility.

  46. Zach
    January 22, 2013

    *IF SLP wins, the Oscars have lost all credibility.

    And just one more thing.

    If SLP starred Gerard Butler and Katherine Heigl, it wouldn’t be getting these raves and nominations. And that’s not just because Cooper and Lawrence are so brilliantly talented and effortlessly charming.

  47. Matt
    January 22, 2013

    Yes Zach, I’m sure Russell’s attempt was to making a mockery of mental illness when his son is bi-polar. That makes so much sense, he must hate his son.

  48. Zach
    January 22, 2013

    I never said the intentions weren’t good.

  49. Matt
    January 22, 2013

    But you did say he makes a mockery of it. I think if Russell has a son and has lived through this shit he knows what he’s talking about. It’s a glossy portayal sure, but do you honestly think he could release a 100% genuine depiction starring two, big Hollywood stars? How well do you think that film would do and go over with Cooper and Lawrence’s fans? It’s glossy (though pretty much as truthful as it can be in some significant aspects considering), but it’s far from a mockery.

  50. Zach
    January 22, 2013

    @Kevin, because who actually thinks it’s the best film of the year? How is it possible that the entire Academy could vote for that and not something like Lincoln? Because it’s too dry?

    Look, Lincoln doesn’t have to be a Best Picture Oscar winner…but why should it be Silver Linings that steals the win? Because of Harvey Weinstein? Because the Academy wants to steer clear of politically charged films and controversy in a contentious election year? Since when was there a rule that the most upbeat film had to win Best Picture? The least controversial? The one that the Academy THINKS the people will like the most, when they actually see it, even though 2012 already had so many acclaimed and high-earning films that there’s no gap for it to fill, except for the all-star comedy of the year?

    I simply don’t believe that a popular vote would result in this film winning up against its competition, except with an Academy that gives the finger to critics and precursors, listens to the campaigns with the most noise and money, and uses a nonsensical, not-the-best-but-the-least-disliked preferential ballot.

  51. Matt
    January 22, 2013

    Lincoln’s winning and if it’s not Lincoln, it’ll be Argo because of Affleck sympathy. The chances of Silver Linings Playbook winning are slim-to-none, in fact, the people who seem to think it has a good chance are the people that don’t like it (a common ploy used to get people on the hate train).

  52. Sasha Stone
    January 22, 2013

    Sasha, you do realize there are differnt levels and severities of bi-polarity and mental illness, correct? I think you’re looking at this from far to much of a narrow-viewed mindset.

    [deadpan Mark Zuckerberg] I didn’t know that. Tell me more. [/deadpan Mark Zuckerberg] Look, excuse the movie all you want. I often pretend like vanilla cookies I really love aren’t actually fattening — you make allowances for what you like. Love Silver Linings Playbook all you want but please don’t pretend that it is, in any way, an accurate depiction of mental illness – unless of course we’re talking about sitcom level of writing and then of course, anything goes.

  53. Matt
    January 22, 2013

    I don’t think it’s a 100% accurate portayal (nor do I think the film claims to be and it’s not fair to direct hatred at the film because Dr. Oz thinks it is, direct it at him), but it’s more genuine than most attempts that come out of Hollywood. I don’t *love* the film, I just think this is such a non-conversation. I do wonder how much hate you would be directing at this film if it wasn’t in the Oscar race and it was just a well-reviwed summer film that got mild awards attention…

  54. Zach
    January 22, 2013

    Maybe “mockery” is too strong a word; maybe that borders on being offensive. But I find it fitting to say that its portrayal of mental illness and human conflict is somewhat ridiculous. And this isn’t just about the portrayal of mental illness — I wouldn’t care less about how accurate a film’s portrayal of mental illness is if it at least seems believable and gives us real, fully shaded characters rather than plot devices and contrivances you can see a mile away. I don’t know anyone who would say to her adult son, after he wakes her up in the middle of the night to bitch about Hemingway, “You owe us an apology.” I don’t know anyone who looks like Jennifer Lawrence, crazy and widowed and lacking in professional skills or not, who would subject herself to a self-centered, delusional man like Cooper, whether mentally ill or not.

    I’m not an expert in mental illness. But I’m allowed to find a film offensive for any number of reasons. This film I found offensive for trying to use both serious issues, like mental illness and infidelity, and trite situations, like a football game and a dance competition, just to advance the plot and fill airtime. I’m not a great fan of plotless arthouse cinema unless it’s carefully crafted, has compelling characters or actors, or has an indelible visual fingerprint. So with that in mind, I applaud any contemporary film that at least *tries* to develop a full plot. But what I can’t ignore in Silver Linings is that the plot devices are meant to take the place of character traits. For what was supposed to be an emotionally resonant family drama, it never felt real because these weren’t real people who live in the real world. She can brag about being a whore in a diner, but mood swings don’t make for nuanced, insightful, authentic, relatable, performances. Blame the actors, blame the writing, blame both or neither, but do not give this Best Picture.

  55. representDLV
    January 22, 2013

    Thank you Dr. Sasha, mental illness expert. I guess my bi polar friends that act just like pat from SLP and who really enjoy the film because they feel like they can relate to it are just full of shit.

  56. January 22, 2013

    Google “Dr Oz crackpot” if you have a few hours to read dozens of articles that discredit all his fraudulent advice.

    How can there be 55 comments here and nobody has said it?

    Dr Oz is a Crackpot and a World-Famous Fraud.

  57. Zach
    January 22, 2013

    “I do wonder how much hate you would be directing at this film if it wasn’t in the Oscar race and it was just a well-reviwed summer film that got mild awards attention…”

    Last point. This is the Achilles heel of the Oscar race, and film criticism in general, in that it can turn people off to otherwise commendable films by jamming them and their stars down our throats and telling us we how much we should enjoy choking on them. You’re damn right that if this movie weren’t up for some undeserved Oscars (some are deserved), with a really good chance of walking away with the top prize, then I and many others wouldn’t be bitching about it ever so vitriolically.

  58. Matt
    January 22, 2013

    representDLV: I do think people that are treating this movie like Sasha are aren’t helping the situation here. If people can relate to the film and gain hope from it read the stuff that Sasha just wrote, well, that’s probably going to make them feel like shit. Sorry Sasha, I get where you’re coming from, but I think if the film helps people, there’s nothing wrong with that.

  59. daveinprogress
    January 22, 2013

    I actually really appreciate reading the comments on this particular thread, even though i have not yet seen SLP, and so am reading these comments as if i had a cushion over my face, trying not to see the details or ‘screen shocks’, but take the jist of what is being stated. (thanks for the spoiler alerts, Antoinette).

    I appreciate the personal revelations and ownership of people’s own experience. Even with the anonymity of the web, to have the courage like Sasha and Mel, Alex and 123 Fake St, among others to share those truths gives real weight to discussions about the relative merits of a movie and its award propsects, partic one as lofty as Best Picture. What is such a valuable site as this utilised for, if not for discourse about meaningful sides of narratives and the human condition. It is never a ‘non conversation’. Props to all for making it so thought provoking.

  60. rufussondheim
    January 22, 2013

    Daveinprogress, hopefully you aren’t a Philadelphia Eagles fan, because if you recall the last game of the season against Dallas, well, all the suspense is taken away. Because you know them bitches are getting that five.

    I don’t want to speak for anyone else, but I think what annoys people about this fillm is that the first half is so promising and then it shits it all away in the second half. Or third third. Or whatever.

    The shift, when it happens, is utterly horriffic.

  61. Mel
    January 22, 2013

    Yes, Beasts of the Southern Wild, the film that glorifies poverty, what a perfect example..

    That’s what you got out of it? Then you are one of the assholes part of it was meant to inform I think. Just because the people in the movie didn’t sit around and wish they had the life you do, doesn’t mean it glorifies poverty. You missed the entire point of the film I think, but whatever it meant to you is what it is I reckon.

    Sasha, you do realize there are differnt levels and severities of bi-polarity and mental illness, correct?

    There’s totally enough about the severity of Pat’s illness in the movie to draw our conclusions. He beat a man so badly he was sentenced to an inpatient facility for 8 fucking months. That’s pretty fucked up, dudes. And after 8 months he was still throwing shit-fits in the middle of the night like a 12 year old and hitting his elderly parents and stalking his ex-wife.

    This movie was Russell’s silver-assed lining, hoping he isn’t in for a lifetime struggle. But he is. It’s a fact. That’s part of mental illness. God-forbid he had a kid born with down’s syndrome or no legs. He’d have to dig up a novel that cures those with a little T&A and that would be totally hard!

  62. Sasha Stone
    January 22, 2013

    Thank you Dr. Sasha, mental illness expert. I guess my bi polar friends that act just like pat from SLP and who really enjoy the film because they feel like they can relate to it are just full of shit.

    Happy for them. Maybe next they can work on knowing good writing from bad writing.

  63. rufussondheim
    January 22, 2013

    Thanks, Sasha, for that perfect response.

    This is not a good movie and I am horrified that so many people think it is.

  64. January 22, 2013

    Basically, when you make a movie about personal and sensitive issues like this, it’s going to have a divisive effect. There are reasons for people to get mad about most of the movies up for awards this year. These are not my personal opinions but here are a few examples of criticisms other movies could receive:

    Lincoln glosses over Lincoln’s own racism and the glaring questions/complexities regarding Thaddeus Stevens’ own interracial relationship

    Django makes a horrible chapter of our history funny and lightweight and now lazy high schoolers don’t have to study any real history because what fun is that

    Argo fabricates an airport scene while trying to tell a real life story

    Beasts of the Southern Wild glorifies post-Katrina poverty and the overrated power of “imagination” when horrible things are happening to a soon-to-be-orphaned child

    Life of Pi fails to point out the terrible things people have done in the name of religion and furthermore seems to say that not choosing a particular religion/God is better than making a choice and committing to it and even further says that lying is okay if people like that story better

    Les Mis is further example that poor people may be unhappy but they can sing really good, how romantic and reductive

    The Master obfuscates in order to not have to make a proper thesis statement

    The Impossible is about a Tsunami in Asia but focuses on white people

    Zero Dark Thirty (fill in the blank)

    Looper says that if you want to stop a mass murderer just give him a loving mom

    We could go ON and ON. Every year. I don’t personally agree with the issues I just listed but for argument’s sake I wanted to point them out. So why does one particular movie have to take a beat down over its lack of total universality? If it rang true to me, with my own personal experience of loved ones with mental illness and fucked up family members and bouts of depression and struggles with violence, do I need to verify with someone else that they ALSO felt a connection to the characters/story in order to legitimize my own enjoyment? No, I just know what it spoke to me. And I’m fine with that. It’d be great if others were fine with that too.

  65. Matt
    January 22, 2013

    Mel: So I list a common complaint against Beasts and you call me an asshole, yet you list a common complaint against Silver Linings Playbook and I don’t decide to call you a name, see how this works? They’re opinions, you have yours, I have mine. No need for name calling.

  66. Matt
    January 22, 2013

    Oh Sasha come on you’re better than that, don’t change from calling the movie out on its inaccuracies to just calling it a bad film. That’s just cheap.

  67. Sasha Stone
    January 22, 2013

    Oh Sasha come on you’re better than that, don’t change from calling the movie out on its inaccuracies to just calling it a bad film. That’s just cheap.

    You haven’t been reading me this season I guess. I haven’t been outwardly panning Silver Linings but I have been saying the writing is bad, the female character as written — a JOKE (JL makes it better than it is) and it completely falls apart from the middle point on – I sat there calling every scene as it was about to happen, even predicting they would get a five. And that they would end up together. No, it’s BAD writing and for a great writer like David O. Russell a real comedown. So I don’t know what version of me you are referring to.

  68. Matt
    January 22, 2013

    ‘Thanks, Sasha, for that perfect response.

    This is not a good movie and I am horrified that so many people think it is.’

    Wow, if that’s the case, I’m horrified by a lot of critically acclaimed films receptions. But see, I’m not. Film opinions are subjective. I dislike (even hate) plenty of critically acclaimed films, but I’m surely not ‘horrified’ by their receptions. That’s just petty.

  69. Mel
    January 22, 2013

    How about the fact it is just a shitty fucking 100% implausible story that is poorly put together?

    I’m aghast by how, controversy aside, people can’t see it’s just a piece of amateurish shit. The first 2/3 hold promise and then it just turns into a ridiculous after school special.

    Anyone read this friggin book? Surely it can’t be this damn horrible. They had to have played with the events of that book….or that book is also a true piece of horrible crap.

  70. Sasha Stone
    January 22, 2013

    Lincoln glosses over Lincoln’s own racism and the glaring questions/complexities regarding Thaddeus Stevens’ own interracial relationship

    That is an incredibly unfair take on Lincoln, judging him by today’s standards. He was not an abolitionist but he learned, as Doris Kearns Goodwin wrote, to become better educated about race as his presidency went along. Since he was shot only a month after his second inaugural we’ll never know where Lincoln will end up. Winning an Oscar is not worth dragging his good reputation through the mud. There are things left out of Lincoln and things that could have been added in but calling him a racist is wholly wrong.

  71. Matt
    January 22, 2013

    I know you’re not a fan Sasha, that’s not my point, you changed your argument here to accomodate the reply. That’s unlike you and fairly lazy.

  72. Matt
    January 22, 2013

    Mel: Because clearly a lot of people think it’s a good film, how about that? I don’t think Beasts is a good film, like at all, but I accept that people like it, you should probably work on that.

  73. Mel
    January 22, 2013

    Mel: So I list a common complaint against Beasts and you call me an asshole, yet you list a common complaint against Silver Linings Playbook and I don’t decide to call you a name, see how this works? They’re opinions, you have yours, I have mine. No need for name calling.

    OK. I’m sorry for implying you are an asshole. But calling that ‘glorifying poverty” when it did anything but, the poverty was shocking. It must only be glorifying it to you b/c they didn’t sit around wishing they had our lives sitting on the internet fighting about movies. That’s is all one could mean when they say it glorifies poverty. And feeling that way seems assholish to me, like your life is so great, if they don’t want it, it glorifies poverty.

  74. James
    January 22, 2013

    I just recently rewatched Flirting with Disaster too the other week. Great movie. Maybe not all the characters are entirely realistic, but that film isn’t necessarily predictable either.

    A scene where two characters seem like their about to do it in a shower instead has hilarious armpit consequences. Russell seems to be losing his voice lately although I actually loved The Fighter despite it’s conventional 3rd act. There’s was a level of authenticity in the locales and the occasional dark humor was not out of place. Maybe it’s due to the fact that it’s based off real people, but even the sisters and Melissa Leo felt more like real individuals than the psychiatrist and Tucker as the token black guy who comes in and out from no where for no other reason, but to push the story along. I wasn’t a huge fan of Weaver’s underwritten character, but she was the only big casting choice that wasn’t distracting. I bought her a Philly mom for the most part. The 3 big movie stars as solid as they are….not so much.

  75. January 22, 2013

    Sasha, I’m not trying to argue about Lincoln. (Plus I know better than to do that here.) I said twice that I don’t personally hold those views I shared. Lincoln made me cry. Django is my #1 of the year. Beasts was amazingly original and the Academy did itself proud by supporting it this much. I could go on and on. It just bears remembering that movies like SLP speak to people on very personal levels and it’s hard for people to separate an beat down of the movie with a rejection of their own experiences which led them to enjoy (or dislike) the movie. That was the only point I was looking to make.

  76. Mel
    January 22, 2013

    Mel: Because clearly a lot of people think it’s a good film, how about that? I don’t think Beasts is a good film, like at all, but I accept that people like it, you should probably work on that.

    That’s the thing. I don’t think that many people actually do. I think they think it makes them feel like everything will be ok. Like say, Pretty Woman, which is actually so awful, but you kinda feel like you just like it b/c it makes you feel like this totally implausible shit can happen and everything will be ok. Or even The Avengers which is a good film for what it is supposed to be, a great film. You feel all whoop whoop yeah! at the end…..it’s good for what it is, but it’s not going to be considered for the Oscar. I don’t know why this film is….it’s an irresponsible, sloppily put together, fairy-tale….it baffles. I’m sharing my bafflement and outrage at how it treats mental illness, which is allowed too, not just your opinion.

  77. January 22, 2013

    you changed your argument here to accommodate the reply.

    It’s the same argument Sasha has made for many weeks. We can’t make you go back and read past posts. We can’t make you listen to the Oscar Podcasts. Sorry you haven’t been paying attention. but yeesh, don’t be mad about it.

    If you’re here to demonstrate that you’re ignorant about Sasha’s previous arguments, you’re doing a fine job.

    But if you’re here to claim Sasha never said things that most of us know she’s said a dozen times, then your ignorance puts you at disadvantage.

  78. representDLV
    January 22, 2013

    Well you may not like the writing, but I did and so did the academy. They didn’t have to nominate it for an Oscar for best adapted screenplay.

  79. JP
    January 22, 2013

    Having close family members who suffer from Manic Depression, the old name for the new and hip name of BiPolar disorder, I can say SLP was hard to watch, and that’s not because of the so called mental illness in the character and the impact on his family, it’s because of the vile language, the f word throughout, the ridiculous situations, all this cheapened a movie that could have been so much more. It was just hard to watch because of all the bad language. Mentally ill people and their friends and family may get into arguments and fight, but they don’t all talk this way to each other.

    My Mother and I left after the movie and both agreed, that the movie was a alot of hype and big disappointment.

  80. January 22, 2013

    “If anything movies like Black Swan and The Silence of the Lambs and We Have To Talk About Kevin have done WAY more to stigmatize mental illness than Silver Linings will likely do to contribute to the idea that mental illness is “all in your head.””

    You just listed my favorite film from 2010, my all time favorite movie, and one of my favorites from 2011.

    Uh oh.

  81. Sasha Stone
    January 22, 2013

    There is no “stigma” attached to Silver Linings. None whatsoever. It doesn’t need to apologize for being what it is: a cute, quirky romcom. It has a girl bouncing around and flipping her ass up in the air for godssakes. It ain’t Cuckoo’s Nest. I only object to this Dr. Oz mischegoss that says “it’s a serious look at mental illness.” That it is not. It’s a silly funny romcom that a lot of people like or love. Can it not be left at that? But NO it needs “gravitas” to win and so Dr. Oz has provided it. For me the movie goes from decent to bad when you start to put that heaviosity onto it.

  82. Matt
    January 22, 2013

    But that’s completely unfair to film. You’re directing your criticism at the wrong thing, direct it at Dr. Oz, not the film.

  83. Sasha Stone
    January 22, 2013

    Well you may not like the writing, but I did and so did the academy. They didn’t have to nominate it for an Oscar for best adapted screenplay.

    You’re not going to make me make a list of all of the bad screenplays that have been nominated over the years are you?

  84. James
    January 22, 2013

    Appreciate the honesty Sasha. One of the flew bloggers who seems to be doing it. So many others seem genuinely scared to speak negatively about a film that is escaping the criticisms most films of it’s kind would receive. This could come out any time of the year. Only Weinstein could turn this in to a winner.

  85. Kai
    January 22, 2013

    Now I really hope it wins.

  86. Mike
    January 22, 2013

    This is getting a little rediculous. Everybody is arguing subjective opinion. This is pointless. Different movies connect with people for many reasons. The fact that “Lincoln” is Sasha’s favorite movie this year and not yours means absolutely nothing. It doesn’t make Sasha wrong whatsoever and it doesn’t make her right. All her reservations regarding SLP doesn’t make her wrong or right either. Its simply how she feels about the movie. Its not like her saying Lincoln is the best movie ACTUALLY makes it the best movie, it makes it HER favorite movie and based on her tastes and criteria for what makes a movie a good movie, she thinks its the best movie of the year. Its something that is as clear as night and day to her. And that is great. Some will agree, some will disagree but neither is wrong. Personally, for whatever reason, SLP connected with me on a lot of levels more than Lincoln. I respected the hell out of what Tony Kushner, Daniel Day Lewis and Spielberg accomplished. I will watch it again. But for whatever reason it didn’t hit me in that way that makes me LOVE a movie. I don’t want to buy it, I don’t constantly look for interviews about it and Im not constantly talking to my friends about it. I respect the hell out of it. But thats me. Just bc it didn’t hit my sweet spot the way it did Sasha’s means absolutely nothing. My tastes change all the time. The last movie that won BP that was also a movie I LOVED was The Departed. I prefered Crash over Brokeback. I liked Saving Private Ryan over Shakespeare in Love. Im someone who in 2010, ABSOLUTELY loved The Social Network and couldn’t understand how a simple, okay, nothing special movie like The Kinks Speech won the oscar. For Sasha, SLP is this years The Kings Speech. My three favorite movies this year, of whats nominated, were Les Mis, SLP and Life of Pi. I really enjoyed Argo and Zero Dark Thirty (will watch them again for sure, but probably won’t buy them and watch over and over). I had a lot of fun with Django Unchained but thought it went on for a lot longer than it should have and if it was a 2 hour movie, it would of been MUCH better, but thats me. For me I LOVED SLP and would love to see it win BP. I thought it had a lot to say, felt real, felt like those characters were real and just loved it. Am I saying its “Definitively” better than Lincoln. Not at all. Im saying I liked it more. What makes something better than another comes down to that individual person’s own criteria for how they judge something. Nobody’s opinion means anything definitive.

  87. January 22, 2013

    It will be funny if SLP wins SAG. Jeff Wells will get more cocky, only for things to not end well for his movie.

    Sasha has nailed it as far as Oz trying to lend gravitas to the picture, but unless there is a domino effect, it’s winning 2 Oscars tops, for acting.

  88. James
    January 22, 2013

    Perks of Being a Wallflower > Silver Linings Playbook. That is all. Okay it’s a silly comparison, but they do have some similarities.

  89. daveinprogress
    January 22, 2013

    Sasha, i loved that you used some yiddish in one of your replies. Gave me the only smile i’ve had today. :)

  90. Matt
    January 22, 2013

    Vince: PGA is the day before and I’d assume that will be far more telling.

  91. Mel
    January 22, 2013

    Perks of Being a Wallflower > Silver Linings Playbook. That is all. Okay it’s a silly comparison, but they do have some similarities.

    I said this exact same thing last night! If you are looking for a feelgood about a tough topic, Perks was much better realized and far more honest. And did not end with some hokey-assed craptacular plot tricks. Just saw Perks last night. It was interesting watching it the day after SLP.

  92. January 22, 2013

    Matt > I’m well aware the PGA is before SAG. And, I’m certain SLP has zero chance of winning PGA.

  93. Bball_Jake
    January 23, 2013

    Silver Linings Playbook is one of the best films of the year, and I think it should win Best Picture and Best Director. It’s just flat out awesome.

  94. rufussondheim
    January 23, 2013

    Sasha says “That is an incredibly unfair take on Lincoln, judging him by today’s standards. He was not an abolitionist but he learned, as Doris Kearns Goodwin wrote, to become better educated about race as his presidency went along.”

    Lincoln was a racist by today’s standards, but he was also racist by 1850′s standards. When you compare him to others in his day, Salmon Chase, William Seward, Thaddeus Stephens were all men who succeeded and had more progressive views than Lincoln.

    Now, “Racism” as a defined concept didn’t exist until the early 20th Century, so no one would have classified Lincoln as such at the time. But the evidence is clear, people can call Thaddeus Stephens a “radical” but he was there for all to see, and he was chided for his beliefs.

    Just because the belief that blacks were inferior to whites at the time was socially acceptable, doesn’t mean it isn’t racism.

    Now, of course, racism is a loaded term filled with lots of baggage, and I wouldn’t want to attach all of today’s meaning to Lincoln, he was clearly trying to improve the situation for many blacks so to disparage him is unfair. But to not call him a racist, in the purest sense, is a disservice to history.

  95. Jerry Grant
    January 23, 2013

    Why set up a post on a rich and interesting topic, and then “authoritatively” shoot down everyone who lands on one side it? I don’t get it. Sometimes I really don’t get the point of the site’s posturing to raise discussion and offer several viewpoints, when in the end, there’s clearly a “right” side and a “wrong” side.

    Everybody I know in person who has seen this movie disagrees with your side, Sasha and Ryan. I would rather “Lincoln” win than “SLP,” too, but the tone of anger and personal condescension here is really shameful.

  96. January 23, 2013

    Jerry Grant,

    Discussion is still happening, right? People are getting shot down? Who got shot? Not fatally, I hope. Can they still type?

    Can’t I share an opinion too, or would you rather I just keep my thoughts to myself?

  97. Jerry Grant
    January 23, 2013

    Hey Ryan, the way I see it, the difference is between a) sharing thoughts where there will naturally be disagreements, but the moderators (who too have strong opinions) are held to a slightly higher standard in which they at least respectfully recognize there is a range of viewpoints, which they treat with a semblance of respect, and b) the moderators do not treat contrary (reasonable!) views with respect, rather maintaining there are objective rights and wrongs about the discussion, in which case the forum turns into a shouting match where nobody learns anything.

  98. January 23, 2013

    Jerry, Watch how much authority President Obama has in trying to steer discussion in Washington and then tell me how Sasha or I have the comment pages under our draconian thumbs.

    Dude, if your comments are showing up on site, then nobody is suppressing your voice.

  99. rufussondheim
    January 23, 2013

    Sometimes Sasha comes off as dismissive rather than thoughtful. I suspect that is the tone Jerry is referencing.

    Ryan, on the other hand, is a ball of fun!

  100. rufussondheim
    January 23, 2013

    But then, I think if Sasha stumbles onto a new thought she doesn’t extrapolate that thought in the comments section. She thinks through it and expands upon it, and eventually it makes it onto the site as a fresh entry or part of an entry.

    Today’s Keckley article is an example of this, I think. As was her recent Pet Peeves piece. I’m sure if I cared enough, I could think of more.

  101. January 23, 2013

    It was just hard to watch because of all the bad language.

    G movies exist. Otherwise, don’t go.

    I don’t think it’s fair to any film for people to watch it and say ‘the movie sucked because that’s not how my life was’. It would be like every steel worker hating on FLASHDANCE because he/she never became a ballet dancer.

    Any movie is about the characters in that movie. It’s not about you, me, or anyone in the audience. In a fictional movie, it’s about fabricated people. Even LINCOLN is fictional. It’s based on a real person but those collection of scenes aren’t 100% fact. All of you guys who keep ripping movies apart for how accurate they’re not might want to stick with documentaries if a lack of realism upsets you so much.

    spoilers
    The second thing that weirds me out about the comments here is that Tiffany is somehow some random slut. Once again, she had spoken of being medicated too. It could have just been when her husband died but the way she was listing off medications sounded like she’d been “treated” for a while. So you have two people who have whatever problems they have, who have been medically treated for these problems, but are still complete messes UNTIL they find each other and help each other. Yes, it’s a happy ending. So? Why can’t these fake people in a fake world have a happy ending?

    What I saw in the film was that all of the characters are “messed up” to various degrees. Even the mom and her crabby snacks. I’m sorry that sometimes people become violent. I thought him hitting his mom was an accident but maybe not. From what I got he understood into a fight at a sporting event, not uncommon, and as part of a plea bargain, instead of jail he went to a mental institution. His father must have done something worse at some point in fictional history because he was banned from the stadium when this institutionalized man was not. But to me he was institutionalized because of one event. The universe is violent unfortunately. People do these things. Medicating them doesn’t stop it. Most of our country is medicated and yet people still commit acts of violence. There is no answer to mental illness. That’s what I thought Dr. Oz was saying. Most movies portray the mentally ill as monsters. This movie instead made them people who are going through a rough patch but can still have a silver lining. That’s all. I don’t think that’s so bad.

    I’m sorry for everyone who had a tough time with mental illness in their life. But the movie is just a movie. All movies are. Taking them too seriously isn’t really a good idea no matter what the subject matter. If this issue is important to you and you thought the movie was bad, maybe you can go onto the IMDb give it a 1 and wash your hands of it. Or steel yourself up and volunteer your time to work with or for the mentally ill. That would probably be more helpful to you and people with mental illness than stressing out about the supposed inaccuracies of a motion picture.

  102. James
    January 23, 2013

    Forget questions of accuracy regarding mental illness, the characters in this film don’t act like real people. The last 40 minutes at least are a complete bust. Maybe one of the most awkward scenes of this or any year is Lawrence going through all the stats. Didn’t buy it at all.

  103. Mel
    January 23, 2013

    From what I got he understood into a fight at a sporting event, not uncommon, and as part of a plea bargain, instead of jail he went to a mental institution.

    Did you watch the movie, Antoinette? It was very clearly stated more than once, he severely beat up the man he caught having sex with his wife. Even with flashbacks of him stomping in the guy’s face. That is why everyone was afraid of him and he had restraining orders. It was clear he nearly killed someone. But oh, hey, cuteness, let’s fashion a rom-com from that!! Please. This movie sucks period and it is irresponsible on top of it and it’s embarrassing it is in the running for the best thing we got in 2012.

  104. Nanci
    January 26, 2013

    The only thing fake in this movie is when the therapist becomes part of his circle of friends. Other than that, this movie is authentic. I found the characters believable; the dialogue real. It is, afterall, a movie- not a dissertation on bipolar disorder. Yet, elements of the mental illness are presented in true form. And, for me, as a mother of a bipolar daughter, please let me believe in this film- please let me believe there is a silver lining!

  105. Nanci
    January 26, 2013

    P.S. > JP… Yes, JP, people DO talk this way- especially people whose lives have been such a struggle…people whose lives have not gone as planned…people who need honesty in their lives and so, dispense with social norms. Tiffany spoke this way because she had gone off the deep end, was tired of the charade and challenged anyone she met by being so aggressive and blunt. Trust me, JP, this dialogue was not thrown in to be sensational- It was included to be realistic. I am offended when I hear the F word throughout some of the vapid movies that are out there today, but in this film, the language isn’t distracting because it fits the characters. Characters that are written as real people!

  106. January 26, 2013

    Pat: Mom, can we stop at the library? I want to read Nikki’s entire high school syllabus.

    Two and a Half Men has better ‘dialogue’ than that. No human speaks that way.

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