SILVER LININGS…. SO CLOSE SO FAR!

Jeremy Thomas on Silver Linings Playbook

After a stint in a mental institution, former teacher Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) moves back in with his parents and tries to reconcile with his ex-wife. Things get more challenging when Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a mysterious girl with problems of her own.

Maybe I am being too hard on writer/director David O’Russell. Maybe I have an axe to grind due to my past experience and the penultimate chapter of Taking Leave. Yet no one could have been more of a supporter of O’Russell’s first two films Spanking the Monkey and Flirting with Disaster. He has a brave and keen eye for the unusual and knows how to write original comedy better than most. And if someone wanted to give an Oscar for the first 70 minutes of any film this year, I would vote for this one, even over Argo and Amour. But did O’Russell then throw away a possibly great movie?

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DO YOU REMEMBER WHERE YOU SAW YOUR FIRST SERIOUS MOVIE?

WHAT WAS YOUR LOCAL CINEMA CALLED?

Writing about films on a website belonging to a writer of books may seem odd. But I am odd and have been a serious film fan since the age of 10. The first serious movie I saw was The Great Escape with my elder brother Chris in the local flea pit at Gerrards Cross, The Essoldo. Plush red velvet bucket seats with half moon brass ash trays screwed into the back of the seat in front. Plumes of cigarette smoke rising from every row in the place. Two usherettes with trays of ice cream and Kiaora. The clipped tones of the newscaster or announcer on Pathe News followed by wonderful amateur adverts for the new local Chinese restaurant  Hong Kong Garden and Joys & Waves  the new hairdesser on Station Way, not forgetting Marshalls the toy shop… And then the movie itself.

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AND THE AWARD FOR BEST AWARDS GOES TO…

It used to be the case that the only awards ceremonies one heard about were the Nobel Peace Prize, Oscars, Booker, or Turner prize. But that was then. Now we have hundreds of awards for everything and everyone.

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