It was probably my favorite film at this year's festival and the first film I gave an A+ to all year (read my review here) and it seems the people agree as the winner of the BlackBerry People's Choice Award at this year's Toronto Film Festival is David O. Russell's Silver Linings Playbook.
Starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, the film centers on a man (Cooper) who spent the last eight months in a mental institution who comes out ready to turn his life around. Brimming with positivity he wants to rebuild his life and reconnect with his wife, but things won't be as easy as he presumes. Ultimately he finds kinship in a girl named Tiffany (Lawrence) and together they may be able to help overcome the negativity in their lives and -- to revert to the cliche in the title -- find a silver lining.
I think the word "cliche" is perfect when talking about this film, because it is cliche, but what makes it so great is the way Russell creates an honest reality around those cliches with characters you can connect with and feel close to. Here's a snippet from my review:
Based on Matthew Quick's debut novel of the same name, the key to this film's success is the balance of honest, real-deal humor alongside the ups and downs of the characters. Silver Linings Playbook is just as funny as it is emotional and both aspects hit home with authenticity, despite what are several obvious turns in the film's plot. We're not watching a groundbreaking movie as much as we're watching one with a soul. A connection is made with the characters that can't be faked and in today's films too often is.
Winning this award certainly helps its Best Picture Oscar chances as previous Toronto winners that went on to win Best Picture include The King's Speech and Slumdog Millionaire. I'll be delving into the Oscar race soon enough though, with articles on the way this coming week and official Oscar predictions beginning Monday, September 24. So stay tuned and to read my full review of Silver Linings Playbook click here.