Last Saturday, October 20th, at the Austin Film Festival, I attended the Red Carpet and screening for the much anticipated film “Silver Linings Playbook.” Bradley Cooper plays Pat, a man who, after 8 months in a mental institution, has returned to his parents’ home to get his life together. Much to the dismay of his friends and family, he meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a young widow who is also struggling with mental problems. I  interviewed Julia Stiles, who plays Victoria, on the red carpet.

What attracted you to the role?

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I loved the story and the script, and I really wanted to work with David O. Russell because I think he really makes good movies. The caliber of actors in this cast is really amazing. I was like, I don’t care if I even speak in this film, I just want to be in it.

Your character is a little bit controlling and a little bit bitchy. Is that fun to play?

Once I got over being humiliated by the part, it was really fun to play. It’s the first time I have really gotten to play a character, so to say, in a film, she is almost a caricature of person.

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Do you think your character represents the type of person who doesn’t really want to deal with or understand mental illness?

I think my character doesn’t understand mental illness. She tries way too hard to be normal and is into material things. She’s concerned with appearances and upward mobility, so even though she has good intentions toward her sister, she’s not the most forgiving older sister. She tries too hard to control her younger sister and make her conform to her own ideals.

Thank you so much and good luck with film.

My Review:”Silver Linings Playbook” (2012) Pat (Bradley Cooper) has lost just about everything – his wife, his job and his house. After spending eight months at a court mandated mental institution, he returns to his childhood home to get his life back on track and lives in the attic, a small cramped space above his parents’ (Robert DeNiro and Jacki Weaver) room. At a dinner party thrown by his best friend Ronnie (John Ortiz) and his wife Victoria (Julia Stiles), he meets Victoria’s sister, Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), a widow. At the dinner table the two discover they have something in common – they are both struggling with mental problems. And so begins an unlikely friendship. This is a funny, moving film that deals with a problem that many people and many characters in this film struggle to understand – mental illness. Director David O. Russell does a masterful job of keeping the right touch of laughter combined with the scary reality of family and friends dealing with a person who isn’t always stable. This film drags a little until Tiffany’s appearance at a dinner party, where she and Pat argue about what drugs they have both taken to treat their illnesses. Lawrence brings both an energy and a vulnerability to the screen, driving the story along, and sometimes at break neck speed. The film has an incredible cast with Julia Stiles, Robert DeNiro, Jacki Weaver and Chris Tucker shows a wonderful comic touch as Pat’s friend from the institution. This film is worth your time and money, especially for Jennifer Lawrence’s performance, a sure Oscar nominating role.

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My Rating: I Would Pay to See This Film Again