Searching for "silver linings playbook"

let’s go to the movies and see jennifer lawrence!

"American Hustle"

Holiday time and a movie theatre go together like Christmas Eve and a stocking. Like New Year’s Eve and a kiss. They just are meant to be!

You know what I love about a good movie? How time slips away and you can’t really know how long you’ve been there or how much longer the movie has to go before the end. How you can’t even imagine it ending. How the walls of the theatre – and even your very feet – sort of slide away into non-existence. It’s magical.

So far, I have managed to sneak away for three of the four films I want to see before heading back to my classroom. One deserves it’s very own post. It’s a’ brewin’, but I’m not quite ready yet.

"Hunger Games: Catching Fire"The Hunger Games: Catching Fire

I will start off by saying I didn’t love the first in this series of films. Peeta’s hair was way too unnaturally blonde for a character from a setting where people don’t have the money or vanity to dye their hair, and it bugged me to no end. He wasn’t the Peeta I’d had in my head when reading the series, and it affected everything. That, and the four-year-old boy with his mom sitting next to me; he was crying to go home because it was too scary, and she was telling him to be quiet so mommy could watch her movie! {People, come on! These movies are not for little ones!}

I snuck off to see this by myself early in the break, and it played to a packed theatre, even though it had been showing for nearly a month. There had been enough years since I had read the book that I couldn’t quite remember the details, and so I could resist comparisons this time and just enjoy it. It was so much more emotional than the first film. Jennifer Lawrence’s Oscar-winning performance in the amazing Silver Linings Playbook has helped me to see her differently, and I feel like she gave more to the character of Katniss than last time. She is still guarded, but we see more of her heart as her world is being ripped away from her in this film.

The special effects were awesome, as was the feeling of teamwork among the characters. The train seemed cooler than before, too. The cinematography – which I loved in the first film – is again what really shines; expansive, wide, establishing shots while in her home district, and tight, close-up shots while in the arena to heighten that feeling of being hunted. Brilliant.

And Peeta’s hair? Nailed it. It’s the blonde that is the real blonde of a teenaged boy, thankyouverymuch. It made me believe his character and believe his relationship to Katniss, and it made me root for him. I played right into their hands: it’s such a cliffhanger for the third – and final – installment! If you’re at all a fan, you should totally go see it.

"American Hustle"American Hustle:

I hereby crown David O. Russell as the king of the gritty movie.

You know I am in love with The Fighter and Silver Linings Playbook. This is a perfect bookend to a holy trinity of films by one auteur. He goes big here.

He gets human nature and he just pins it on the screen for us to squirm around in our seats over. And he does it with humor. Painful humor at times, but humor nonetheless. Bradley Cooper with his hair in perm rollers? Christian Bale {remember how handsome he was in Little Women with Winona Ryder, ladies?!} performing the most painful and disgusting comb-over in the history of hair? Jennifer Lawrence dusting her house while angrily singing along to “Live and Let Die” in front of her character’s little boy? All so sad, but performed with just enough tongue-in-cheek to make you comfortable.

I am not going to give the plot away. Sorry! Let’s just say there’s some conning going on in this movie.

Here’s what rocked about this film: the setting {late 70’s early 80’s NYC/NJ?! Awesome}; the costumes {specifically, Amy Adams’ costumes}; um, Amy Adams {everything she touches is golden}; the soundtrack {wicked}, the way it starts off with you wondering if you are going to be able to get into it, and mid-way through has you locked into a maze with no idea where you’re going to go – but you’re excited about it – and by the end has you rooting for all the wrong people; Jennifer Lawrence’s crazy character who thinks she knows everything; Jeremy Renner’s convincing performance that made me like him for the first time.

I loved going to see it with my brother and realizing he talks as much during movies as I do.

I love that David O. Russell’s movies can really only be appreciated by adults who have done a little bit of living. Teenagers just wouldn’t get it on the level on which I think it’s meant to be understood. I think a person who hasn’t lived long enough would not find much to love in Russell’s characters in any of his films, but someone who has can see that there is good in anybody. And that there is bad in everybody. And that is normal. And it shines in his films. He sees that everyone has a deeper story and then gives the viewer a chance to get to know them. Truly, that kind of depth of character is rare in films that make any sort of money these days. He’s tapped into the right audience.

I can’t wait to see what happens at the Oscars! I’m expecting a little bit of love to be shown in the direction of this film.

movies to snuggle up with this summer.

One of the zillions of cool things about traveling internationally is that you get lots of time to watch lots of movies on the flights. While flying – well – sucks, we can at least all agree how awesome it is that there is rarely a movie playing overhead anymore for all {including small, curious children} to see. The advent of the movie player in the back of the headrest in front of you is a game-changer.

And because I know you’ve been dying to know what I watched, here you are. All of these are available to watch at home, so make a date with your hubby or your bestie, pop some popcorn, put your kids to bed {in no particular order}, and have a date night at home, will you? Because it’s summer. And you should stay up late.


Silver Linings Playbook“: For some reason, I want to start off saying that I am not one of those ladies who is ga-ga over Bradley Cooper. Back when he was on “Alias,” he was cute, but baby ducks are cute. And Jennifer Lawrence? I wasn’t super-impressed with her in “The Hunger Games.” So when she won the coveted Best Actress Oscar this year for her role in this film, my curiosity was piqued. And when the camera kept cutting to Mr. Cooper in the front row, crying and laughing and hanging on her every word, it was clear to me that they had experienced a huge connection while working on this film.

With Robert DeNiro.

Plus, she seems lovably dorky in real life, and I may know some people like that. Um, sign me up.

I watched this before I took my Ambien on the way to London: totally worth staying up for.

Here’s the thing: it’s gritty. It doesn’t quite seem locked to any one time period. It’s not flashy. It almost feels low-budget in the way “Good Will Hunting” did – they don’t need to hook you with anything but the awesome storyline. And hook you they do.

You’ve got Bradley Cooper’s character: he has spent eight months at a mental facility after going ape on his wife’s lover and discovering he has been living with bi-polar for his whole life. He’s released to the custody of his parents, who certainly have their own issues. He is trying hard to be a better man for his wife, with whom he really wants to get back together. He is like a walking self-help book, but also a ticking bomb at the same time.

And we’ve got Jennifer Lawrence’s character: she has recently lost her young husband in an accident. She’s been escaping by sleeping with everyone she knows. She loves ballroom dancing, but has never had a partner. She’s got a mouth on her and also suffers from mental illness.

They make a deal that forces them to spend time together, and it just breaks your heart in all the best ways. And Robert DeNiro playing his dad? So vulnerable. This film was just absolutely brilliantly cast. I loved every second of it. If you’ve been afraid that it’s too heavy and therefore haven’t watched it, it’s not what you think.

You can do it!


Marvel’s The Avengers“: Meh. I know! I know! Everyone loved this flick last summer, and it made serious bank. Here’s why I think I diverged from popular opinion…

…I love Pepper Potts. You by now know that I love all things Gwyneth, and her nerdy – yet flirty – turn as Pepper is so incredibly entertaining. And I find Robert Downey, Jr.’s “Iron Man” to be absolutely lovable. He is funny and really an unlikely hero. And he needs Pepper to make it all work. I loved all of his scenes in this film, but there just weren’t enough. And there wasn’t enough Pepper Potts! I guess that’s why it was not called “Iron Man.” Or “Pepper Potts.” Hello – I am slow sometimes!

Will you be mad if I say I fell asleep near the end?

This is 40

“This Is 40”: Out of all the movies I watched on the return flight from Munich {a day of travel where I succeeded in staying awake for nearly 24 hours so as to stave off jet-lag!}, this was by far my absolute favorite. If you haven’t seen it, you must. Today. And then tomorrow. It’s that good.

It made me laugh out loud over and over {on a plane full of sleeping people}, cover my eyes, groan, gasp, cringe, get a little teary, and probably yell, “No he/she didn’t!!” more than once. The last movie that did this to me was Meryl Streep’s “It’s Complicated,” so it’s been a few years. And my poor co-worker Steve – he watched it on the plane, then he told me to watch it so we could talk about it, then I kept hitting him while I watched it or pausing my movie and his to be like, “What!!?? This is so good!” And when it was over we had a four-hour conversation inspired by the film, and he never got to finish the movie he was watching. I am sure he will be oh-so-happy to see me at the end of the summer when we are back at school.

This story – minus a few things and plus a few things – is what my life is like. Except I am not forty. Not YET. But it’s out there, man.

It touches on everything about being part of a marriage with kids and being an adult in mid-life: body-image, time alone, raising kids, having a career, wanting to be wanted, wanting to still be you, money, your parents still driving you nuts, date night – you name it. It’s all right here. No one knows what the heck they’re doing as a spouse or parent or even as a grown-up, and this movie is not afraid to show you.

I could point out the specific parts of the movie that I totally related to, but I have to keep some mystery from Mr. Fresh Scratch, who is so sweet that he reads this every day. We’ll talk later, okay?

"Jack Reacher"

“Jack Reacher”: Co-worker Steve had this on his iPad, and the domestic part of our journey had no free movies, so we grabbed a splitter for the head phones and watched this.

Are you a fan of Tom Cruise? I am a fan of his acting. And I think he did not smile even one time in this movie, which was too bad, because it is Tom Cruise we are talking about. But I digress.

This had brilliant cinematography and awesome chase scenes while he was driving that sweet ride in the picture above. And the plot kept turning in on itself, making me re-think everything I thought I had figured out, which I like. I enjoy a movie that keeps me on my toes.

The basic plot is that Jack Reacher is a rogue investigator who is super-smart, and he comes in to help exonerate an old Army buddy who is being charged with a killing-spree. There are meth-heads who are plotting against him, but you know it will be okay in the end, because, hey, it’s Tom Cruise. Right?

Very entertaining. Just the kind of movie that would’ve been fun to see at the drive-in.

What about you? Seen any good rentals lately? I’m always up for suggestions!