Monday, July 15, 2013

"Silver Linings Playbook" and Other Observations on Actors

Oh I do love a good movie.  Even though I'm a longtime member of Netflix, it is rare that I get to see a really good movie.  About half the movies I order, I eject from my DVD player before they are finished. The reason being either they are too violent or just plain insulting to my intelligence.  What I like in a good movie is what I call the human condition.  Plus, I have to like the actors.

Last night I finally got around to watching "Silver Linings Playbook."  I heard a lot about the movie, which actually is a drawback for me because usually the more hype a movie gets, the less I like it.  Many of the pictures that win the Academy Award I find mediocre at best.  Occasionally there is a really good movie but most of them suck.  No apologies for the strong language, most of them really suck.  "Ghandi?"  Eh.  That one about the silent picture show, whose name I even forget.  Forget it.  

What I go by is the actors, which actually doesn't always work but I have to like the actors.  I've never seen Jennifer Lawrence before but I did last night and I have to tell you, she deserved the Academy Award she won for her role in "Silver Linings."  Jennifer Hudson?  Not so much but it was interesting to see an "American Idol" runner up an Academy Award. Of course she has no other career other than screeching her Weight Watchers' commercials now but I digress.

Of course anyone who knows me knows that I am in love with Bradley Cooper.  Not only is he drop dead gorgeous, he has a self-effacing personality which is a killer for me.  And, to top everything else off, he is one helluva actor.  Just watch him in this diner scene with Jennifer Lawrence.  These are two actors at the top of their game.  To me a good actor is one that, even though I know of them as an actor, I believe them in their role.  This is something I am unable to do with the likes of Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise.  

To me, actors like Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt, although very proficient as actors, have well established personalities as self-absorbed narcissists that I can never believe them in a role.  With Tom Cruise I am constantly thinking of how short he is.  With Brad Pitt, what hair style is he sporting now?  And as for sex appeal, Brad Pitt ceased to have it after his role in "Thelma and Louise."  Tom Cruise?  I never saw his sex appeal.  Never.  Count me in the minority but I just don't get Tommy Boy.

Another one of my favorite actors both from an eye candy viewpoint and acting chops is Ryan Gosling but he is rapidly losing his appeal to me.  Perhaps it is because he is losing his self effacing personality, if he ever had one to begin with.  

But boy oh boy do I like a good move and "Silver Linings Playbook" was one of the best I've seen in years.  I'm always partial to movies set in the Philadelphia area, where I lived and worked for over twenty-five years.  I'm always impressed when these "Philadelphia" movies are accurate as to their references to the Philadelphia area like the movie "The Sixth Sense" was.  "Silver Linings Playbook" was just such an accurate movie to its Philadelphia setting.  If I had any criticism at all, it is of Robert DiNiro's performance.  "Bobby" DiNiro is another actor I never "got."  Sure, he can act but all his roles seem to be a variation on "Robert DiNiro."  In "Silver Linings Playbook" I think he went over the top.  I knew Philadelphia Eagles fanatics.  My father was one.  Believe me, Robert DiNiro's acting performance didn't come close to my father's obsession with the Philadelhia Eagles. My father lived and breathed the Philadelphia Eagles.

Isaac W. Tipton, Sr. - 1991 -  my dad and #1 Philadelphia Eagles fan


Jon said...

It's extremely rare to find good movies or good actors nowadays. It's all become too generic.
Most of the so-called "big" stars like Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt aren't really actors anyway. They're merely personalities, playing themselves over & over. The same old stale stuff. DeNiro is definitely overrated and he seems to be getting worse with age.

Liam Neeson is a good actor, at least he's one of my favorites. I also like Johnny Depp because he's never the same twice. He's completely different in every movie. He's not afraid to take risks.

I've never heard of "Silver Linings Playbook" but the clip is interesting.
Lately I've mostly been watching old movies.
I'm an old relic and I live in the past.....

Ron said...


I concur with your observations of good movies and actors these days. I often go back to the old movies for pure enjoyment.

You're right about Tom Cruise and Brad Pitt playing themselves. DiNiro also plays himself in all his films. He lost creditability with me when he played the title role in "Frankenstein."

If you can rent "Silver Linings Playbook" do so. I'm pretty sure you will like it. It is a good study of the human condition with wonderful the great actors Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence.

You're not an old relic Jon. No way. :)


Geo. said...

I'm a fan of unforgettable supporting actors like Wilford Brimley, Parker Posey, Stephan Fry and Joan Hackett. It takes a sturdy personality to pull off second fiddle in a movie and a lot of artistic restraint. To me, that's a great and highly marketable skill.

Bob said...

I like Cooper because he can act, and because he's easy on the eyes.
I loathe Tom Cruise who apparently plays the same good guy save the world character in every movie.
I like Pitt because he takes chances with his film roles; I love Denzel Washington for the same reason.
I love me some Jennifer Hudson because the girl can sing and she can act and she does have a whole lot more going on than weight-loss ads.

Ron said...


I'm also a fan of supporting actors. Don't like Wilford Brimley though because he supported that murderer Phil Spector. Unfortunately, when I find out the actor's real personality, they lose creditability to me and I can't get their real personality out of my mind when they're acting.


Ron said...


Bradley Cooper can not only act, and is easy on the eyes but his eyes are magnetic. Plus I like the sound of his voice, a mixture of masculinity and boyhood.

I've always liked Denzel Washington, excellent actor. I used to like Brad Pitt until I saw him give an a-hole interview years ago. He was such a self absorbed bore, and so unresponsive to the person interviewing him that I just could never get out of my mind what an a-hole he is in real life. I feel the same way about Russell Crowe. I used to think he was hot and he is still a good actor but in real life? He's another self-absorbed a-hole. Especially when he threw that phone at that hotel front desk clerk (which I am), that confirmed my opinion of him. Jennifer Hudson? I was so happy when she won the Academy Award because I thought she did a fantastic job in "Dream Girls." However, I always thought she say a bit too loud, much like Patti LaBelle. Both good singers but they go just a bit over what is necessary. My ears hurt when I hear Jennifer screeching during one of her numerous Weight Watchers's commercials. I would like to see her in another movie. Maybe it's not her fault she's not getting the roles and I admire her for losing that weight, but would your opinion of Meryl Streep change if you were inundated with all of her Weight Watchers' commercials? Same with Jennifer Lawrence; great actress but my opinion of her would definitely change if she should suddenly should make Weight Watchers' commercials.

Thanks for your comments Bob. Always interested in your take on the current culture. You're the best!


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