Israel Horovitz on ‘Silver Linings Playbook’ by David O. Russell

Eye on the Oscars: Writers' Roundup

David O. Russell’s screen adaptation of Matthew Quick’s debut novel, “Silver Linings Playbook,” is a stunning example of guile and deception. Normally, the screenwriter’s trick is to woo an audience into the world of a character-driven film with comedy and romance, which then, in serious films, turns serious and sour. There’s nothing at all normal about Russell’s approach. His feel-bad-feel-good screenplay takes us on a circuitous route from madness and violence to romance and fantasy. The start of Russell’s film is dark and dangerous, and painfully real. By the film’s conclusion, we are doubled over with laughter and throat-lumped by the ending we all wanted but never imagined we would get. The range of emotion on-screen is gigantic and the viewer’s emotional journey is a match. Russell creates career-defining screen roles for Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, who respond with masterful performances, as do Robert De Niro, Jacki Weaver and John Ortiz in supporting roles. It’s all on the page in Russell’s script: a fanciful blend of styles, and, ultimately, of wit and of wisdom. Magical.

Israel Horovitz is the author of several plays including “Park Your Car in Harvard Yard” and “The Indian Wants the Bronx.”

Filed Under:

Want to read more articles like this one? SUBSCRIBE TO VARIETY TODAY.
Post A Comment 0

Leave a Reply

No Comments

Comments are moderated. They may be edited for clarity and reprinting in whole or in part in Variety publications.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

More Film News from Variety

Loading