As the saying goes “Every cloud has a silver lining” and in this case bipolar Patrick “Pat” Solitano is having some serious problems in finding his.  The film is written and directed by David O. Russell and based off the novel of the same name by Matthew Quick. After beating his cheating wife’s lover mercilessly Pat gets sent to a mental institution for 8 months. Apparently reformed (but secretly not taking his meds), he returns to live with his parents in suburban Philadelphia. His father Patrizio “Pat Sr.” Solitano (Robert De Niro), a lifelong Philadelphia Eagles fans who harbours serious OCD/anger issues  and his mother Dolores Solitano (Jacki Weaver), only wants what’s best for him and for them to be a sane happy family again. Pat’s primary  goals are to over come his mental demons, beat a song which acts as a trigger to his bad behaviour and get his marriage with his estranged wife back on track. He soon befriends an equally depressed young lady Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) who’s coping with the recent death of her husband by engaging in compulsive sex with almost every guy and gal she encounters. Tiffany, through her sister Veronica Maxwell (Julia Stiles), has frequent run-ins with Pat’s estranged wife Nikki (Brea Bree) and offers to deliver a his letter to her if he agrees to be her partner for an upcoming dance competition. It is a film that, between the laughs, offers a moving and sensitive portrayal of mental illness and due to the impeccable cast, O.Russell is able to pull it off. Complete with inappropriate conversations, uncontrollable outbursts and unpredictable behaviour, Pat and Tiffany bond over sporadic encounters  that can be considered dates in the most conventional sense of the word, but far from romantic to any rational person. There are so many magical scenes in this but a brilliant scene involving almost the entire cast really ignites the narrative as each actor has a chance to throw their performance against each other,. The best thing is that the scene isn’t about the actors trying to out do each other competitively but each of them showing how they can all be set loose in a room and stand their ground. As Pat, Cooper really embraces the leading man role with conviction and is almost unrecognisable. His believable portrayal of the casual swings of bi-polar disorder is deeply affecting. Jennifer Lawrence makes the most of the opportunity to step outside of the strong, stoic type established for her by Hunger… View Post