iifa - 20100603 - IMG_0258.jpg

iifa – 20100603 – IMG_0258.jpg (Photo credit: Dhammika Heenpella / Images of Sri Lanka)

Jennifer Lawrence at the 83rd Academy Awards R...

Jennifer Lawrence at the 83rd Academy Awards Red Carpet IMG_1081 (Photo credit: MingleMediaTVNetwork)

 

The word “excelsior” may be new to many other than New Yorkers, as it is the official motto for the state. This great word meaning “ever upward” is a small ingredient in the complex life of Pat Solitano Jr, played by Bradley Cooper.

Pat has bipolar disorder and somehow he is not that different from many who are facing everyday conflicts about their identities, purpose and loved ones. Actor Bradley Cooper is undoubtedly one of the most handsome men and when he does a “real” character such as Pat it draws attention in many ways. He is a good actor and it shines throughout, this will be one of his films ever and a launch pad for more serious subjects in years to come.

 

 

In order to have Pat face his depression of wife cheating, leaving and his wanting her back, the plot is made more interesting when he meets a lady with a similar distress. The name of the character Tiffany Maxwell will not be easily forgettable because actress Jennifer Lawrence really takes on and makes you feel she is the one. Tiffany’s husband has died and she too is suffering, she is a sex addict and a widow.

 

Bradley Cooper (The Hangover)

Bradley Cooper (The Hangover) (Photo credit: Capital M)

 

The film starts off with Pat being released from treatment and a small episode of attempted escape by another patient Danny McDaniels played by Chris Tucker. Pat’s mum, Delores played by Jacki Weaver is holding it together when she steps in and her husband is surprised to see his son back home. Robert de Niro could not have been a better choice for being Pat’s dad, Pat Sr. He brings on charisma, ease and real love for his son, especially when he breaks down into tears talking to his son explaining that life will be better. Pat goes to a psychiatrist Dr Patel played by Anupam Kher and their conversation is hard because it opens the issue of bipolar disorder and how so many people suffer in silence. Anupam Kher comes an immense background of great Indian cinema work and as Dr Patel he participates perfectly.

 

 

 

Pat Sr’s love for the local Philadelphia Eagles puts up a twist in the plot together with Tiffany’s quest to win a dance competition and she want’s Pat Jr to be her partner. Where do his loyalties lie, does he love Tiffany, is he ready to move on and focus? You need to see the film to find out.

A favorite scene is when Pat and Tiffany have their first date and she orders tea because he orders raisin bread.

 

Director David O’Russell is sharp yet subtle and the scenes are like walking into a person’s life, wearing their shoes and holding your breath to find out what next, because his or her mood controls it all. The movie was adapted from the book of the same name by Matthew Quick.

 

David O Russell 2011 Shankbone

David O Russell 2011 Shankbone (Photo credit: david_shankbone)

 

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