Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Silver Linings.

Image via
I have this blog - and for the life of me, I cannot remember its name. It was created for the sake of writing reviews of movies, music, and performances I had seen and thought were worth talking about. I should be posting this there. But no one reads that blog. Because even I can't remember its name. Yikes. ***Update three hours later. It's called An Evaluative Expose. I should delete that.***

Today in my teenage angst, I'm a little slow on the uptake. Well over six months ago, Silver Linings Playbook was released in theatres. I remember, when that movie was first advertised, people were pretty upset because Jennifer Lawrence - just 22 - was playing opposite 38 year old Bradley Cooper. Hollywood is apparently known for this and someone did a graphic comparing Hollywood's longest leading men and the respective ages of the women to whom they starred opposite. It was effective. Because Hollywood has this tendency to glorify the age of men; in that with age men get wiser, classier, more stately, etc. To the opposite, it tends to demonize the age of women in that the older they get, the less attractive they become. And that's where it stops, am I right? But this afternoon, I watched Silver Linings Playbook for the first time, and while I understood the hesitancy then, I'm pretty over it now, because despite the fourteen year age difference, if I didn't know who these people were, I couldn't have guessed otherwise. As it has been said before, J-Law is an old soul, and this is no where more aptly seen, than in her portrayal of Tiffany in Silver Linings Playbook. 

If you need a summation of the movie, click here. I was going to write one, but then figured I could really just save the time and space and send you elsewhere. 

I went into this movie just so pumped to watch J-Law do what had earned her all those awards and appropriate attention; and I saw it. In that scene when she and Bradley Cooper had the discussion about which meds they were on and had been on before that, I saw it. When she first attacked Bradley Cooper running, I saw it. When she stormed into Robert De Niro's house and all but made that parlay happen (score one for educational entertainment), I saw it. There was never a point at which I thought, this is just a different version of Ree, or Katniss, or Elissa. This was Jennifer Lawrence, as Tiffany - the manic, emotionally unstable widow that just wants to be who she is desperately trying to understand herself to be. 

In the same way, Bradley Cooper did not present himself to be the ass that I've only ever known him as. I am not a fan of Bradley Cooper. He was the worst thing about He's Just Not That Into You and that's saying a lot. I have no interest in The Hangover and I'm probably not going to watch Limitless, or A-Team, or All About Steve (yes I did just scroll down his IMDB Filmography because who pays close enough attention to the movies he's in). This, though, THIS! put him in an entirely new category. 

Full disclosure, I have an anxiety disorder and have been on meds for five and a half years. I have been in that place where you are so crazy that every movement you make might land you in jail - or if you're me, in very serious trouble. I have felt so out of control that I have broken things; and screamed so loud, I've thrown up. The method through which Bradley Cooper presents the experience of psychological and emotional instability, was, at least for me, dead on. Nail on the head. Bullseye. And he wasn't douchey. But rather he was respectful, and kind, and had a deeply complex relationship with his - also psychologically unstable - father. He ordered Rasin Bran to avoid leading Jennifer Lawrence on. He was sick and he was hurting. But he was trying. We're all trying. Am I right?

The way that Bradley Cooper was able to embody the experience of psychological frailty in the midst of relational and economic loss, was unparalelled. He captured the complexity of the psychological experience in that it's not just your experience. It's the experience and influence of those around you; of those who made you. It's every event leading up to the break down, and every event afterward. It's every detail within the moment of your break down and the way that every detail of that moment is going to follow you for seemingly ever. The exposure of this complexity makes this film invaluable; to me, as one with psychological issues, and to director David O. Russell, who, as we now know, made it for his son. 

Jennifer Lawrence noted this importance her acceptance speech at the SAG Awards.

I feel more crazy than this morning before I watched it. But I feel more affirmed in my crazy, because in spite of it, I understand my crazy and I like to think that, by and large, I'm understood, by those who matter. I come away, so emotional, and I want to watch it again, now. I come away with a new and renewed appreciation for Bradley Cooper and J-Law (respectively). And I come away thanking David O. Russell, who understood the need for an examination of this subject and found the perfect avenue through to examine it. 

No comments: