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Moonrises and Silver Linings December 6, 2012

Posted by Alichat in Humor, Life, Movies.
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Moonrise Kingdom PosterLast week, I was so deep into my Fringe binge, I forgot to return my Redbox rental. Kinda defeats the purpose of the free rental code when you keep it an extra day. I rented the indie film Moonrise Kingdom with Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Bruce Willis, and Edward Norton.    It was co-written and directed by Wes Anderson, and if you’ve seen any of his other films (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums, The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou,) you know they are funny, artsy, quirky, and sometimes absurd. Moonrise is that type of film. It’s about an odd young girl named Suzy (newcomer Kara Hayward,) who lives with her family on New Penzance, an island of the coast of New England. Suzy falls in love with Sam (Jared Gilman, also a first-timer,) a quiet and odd boy who is a Khaki Scout spending the summer at Camp Ivanhoe. Neither kid quite fits in, but they fit each other. They decide to run off together, which leads to an island wide search. The movie is sweet and emotional, and set in the brown and yellow hued world of 1965. It is sprinkled with small geographical narratives delivered with complete sincerity by Bob Balaban.  Anderson has crafted this world in such detail, that you willingly live in the magical melancholy for two hours without question.  I wish it had performed better at the box office, but rarely do indie films have a blockbuster grosses. It was nominated for a Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and garnered critical acclaim.   It’s definitely worth the rental.

I have been meaning to mention that I saw Silver Linings Playbook a few weeks ago. LOVED IT!! First, it has Bradley Cooper! Hello!! Second, Bradley Cooper dances! Third, it has Hollywood legend Robert DeNiro and the new Hollywood darling Jennifer Lawrence. Fourth, it has Chris Tucker! (And really, who doesn’t love Chris Tucker??)

Silver Linings Playbook Poster The film, based on Matthew Quick’s novel, was awarded the People’s Choice Award at the Toronto International Film Festival.  It’s directed by David O. Russell  and surprisingly, there haven’t been any leaked stories of blow ups on the set!?  Playbook is a hysterical look into the life of Pat (Cooper), who has just gotten out of a mental hospital from a court mandated stint. Pat is bipolar, something he only learned after beating the bejesus out of a guy and being sent to the aforementioned mental hospital. Pat isn’t 100% convinced he’s bipolar you see, yet he is the son of an anxious and superstitious OCD, Pat Sr (DeNiro.)  During the hospital stint, Philadelphia Eagles’ obsessed Pat Sr has lost his job and turned to bookmaking to pay the bills, much to the dismay of his wife Delores, the hand-wringing calm in this chaotic family. Pat is über-focused on getting in shape and healthy for the eventual (in his mind) reconciliation with Nikki, his estranged wife. A lot of the hilarity comes from not only Pat’s rants or skewed responses to situations but also his parents’ reactions to these moments.  Soon after Pat is home, he’s introduced to Tiffany, the live wire sister-in-law of his friend Ronnie. Tiffany is still recovering from her own damaged past. Pat is immediately drawn to Tiffany and handles this by greeting her with insulting indifference. What follows is two hours of lightning fast banter between two sweet, pained, and hurtful people who strike up an odd friendship.  Some of it is hysterical, some upsetting. While Pat’s bipolar condition is presented to us with humor most of the time, as a lot of things in life should be, there are also dramatic moments. Meaning that the movie doesn’t skirt the seriousness of a bipolar condition.  Pat still has some anger issues, like when he goes a little apeshit in his therapist’s waiting room because Dr Patel, as a test, plays the one song that takes Pat back to the moment of his mental break.

Cooper is fantastic as Pat.  Neurotic, funny, upbeat, sarcastic, angry, vulnerable, sweet, and confident, this character presents a tidal wave of emotions.  I should say upfront that I have been a fan of Cooper’s since his Alias days, so you might say I’m biased, but in this matter I’m not.  This role is challenging, and he completely delivers.  And his chemistry with Jennifer Lawrence is perfect.  Tiffany is equally vulnerable, insecure, brash, and witty.  Lawrence owns every scene she is in, whether matching wits with Cooper or DeNiro.  She is a force to be reckoned with.  And as aggravating as her character Tiffany can be at times, the moment you see the longing looks from Pat, you want to be her. You want those blue eyes trained on you too!  (You can see this in the trailer below.) But don’t misunderstand me.  I didn’t love this movie because Cooper is so lovely to look at (he even looks good wearing baggy grey sweats and a gigantic black trash bag! What?!)  The story is hilarious, yet poignant (and wrapped in a great soundtrack.)  It’s grounded in very real moments.  You may not have someone bipolar or OCD in your family, but we all have some dysfunction.  As Seal sings what I refer to as my family’s anthem, ‘we’re never gonna survive unless we are a little crazy.’

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