Tag Archives: David O Russell

Silver Linings Playbook scores

24 May


After a brief stint in a mental institution, Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper) moves back in with his parents (Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver) to reconcile with his wife. Pat meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), who has her own issues, but agrees to deliver a message to his estranged wife if he agrees to her conditions. As their friendship grows, it seems that a silver lining starts to grow in each other’s lives.

Writer/Director David O. Russell captures all of the right emotions, and although the story seems overwhelming at the beginning, it shifts once we are introduced to Lawrence’s character. The acting is sensational. Lawrence deservedly won the Oscar while Cooper would have won if it wasn’t for Daniel Day-Lewis. Also, De Niro gives his best performance in over a decade. Silver Linings Playbook sounds like a film that shouldn’t work, and yet it does to perfection because of its brilliant writing, acting and portrayal of mental illness.


Adam’s Grade: A

Chuck’s Grade: A+

The Fighter is worthy of a title shot

21 Nov

The Fighter is based on the true story about boxer, Mickey Ward (Mark Wahlberg) and his brother/trainer Dickey Eklund (Christian Bale). Ward spent years fighting, but his efforts were overshadowed by his brother, who’s known as the Pride of Lowell for going toe to toe with Sugar Ray Leonard in 1978.

The film begins with Ward stuck in a rut because of his mother’s micro-managing his career and his brother’s destructive crack addiction. This film is more about family than it is about boxing, but director, David O. Russell finds a balance between these two worlds. He successfully captures the time period and location, as well as the Ward family’s strengths and weaknesses.

Mark Wahlberg holds his own in the ring, but the Academy Award winning performances by Bale and Melissa Leo (Ward’s mother) are championship caliber. The Fighter was worthy of a title shot (Best Picture Oscar), but the film falls just short of greatness.


Adam’s Grade: B+

Chuck’s Grade: B+