Sunday, February 10, 2013

Jennifer Lawrence as Tiffany Maxwell in "Silver Linings Playbook"

Jennifer Lawrence 
as Tiffany Maxwell in 
"Silver Linings Playbook"

First off let me say this, I LOVE Lawrence.  I remember traveling about an hour away to see "Winter's Bone" and was mesmerized by her performance, and I knew she would become incredibly successful.  After being cast as Katniss in "The Hunger Games" I started to fall off the love train for her though, I didn't see her as right for the role, even though I wasn't a huge fan of the book.  Then "Silver Linings Playbook" took off and the trailer and clips I saw horrified me, I thought they were HORRIBLE and could not fathom how the film was becoming such an important figure in the Oscar race.

Well, I thought Lawrence was wonderful in THG, and it seems like SLP choose really odd clips that don't really work outside their respected scenes because I really enjoyed the film.  Is it my favorite film of the year?  No, far from it, but I thought for a "dark" romantic comedy it had some tremendous acting and the chemistry between Lawrence and Cooper propelled the film.

Now, onto the actual performance.  Lawrence plays Tiffany, a recent widow who is using sex to try to fix her immense emotional wounds.  She meets Pat, the main character of the film, at a dinner party thrown by her sister and her husband.  Although her and Pat don't fully connect at this point, Tiffany has an attraction to him and sets off to use him during this rough phase of her life.  He turns down her advances, something she isn't use to, and she becomes obsessed with him, forcing a friendship between them.

She soon starts to fall in love with Pat, but because of his own emotional and mental issues, he is unable to fully express, or realize, his feelings towards Tiffany.  There are several trials and tribulations between Tiffany and Pat, and their relationship is put to the ultimate test at a dance competition they both train for.

Before I say anything, I'd like to say that this performance is truly a SUPPORTING performance.  The entire film is about Pat's character and Bradley Cooper is really the shining star of the film.  I'm not sure why Lawrence, or Watts, are in the Lead category since I personally feel both their performances are clearly supporting, but hey, I'm not going to hold it against them!

While I don't think Lawrence's performance is perfect, I actually really enjoyed it.  I feel the script has some pretty glaring flaws, there are some awkward moments that don't come across as "real" to me, but I feel the cast it, for the most part, able to mask the flaws.  Her chemistry with Cooper really helps elevate the entire film, and I feel her longing for him comes across really strong and helped me connect and empathize with Tiffany.  I feel her best acted moments are the scenes where she's angry with Cooper, particularly towards the end.

My main problem with Silver Linings Playbook was that it fell into the realm of "Oh my god, look how emotionally scarred and damaged they are, listen to all the horrible stories they tell", without actually really showing how much it really affected them.  However, this no longer became an issue when late in the film Lawrence has an angry, emotional breakdown which truly shows the cracks and flaws her character has talked about, and subtly shown throughout the film.  It was a tough, yet touching moment seeing how much Pat's inability to show his feelings affected Tiffany.  Lawrence handled this scene perfectly and, for the first time in the film, it gave me chills and took me off guard with how real it was.  Kudos Jennifer!

Verdict - 3 ½ Stars.
A good performance.  Oscar worthy?  In my opinion, no.  However, I think she is a great girl and will not be upset with her winning.  I personally think she can, and has done, much better work and that this being her "Oscar Winning Performance" will seem odd in comparison to her performance in Winter's Bone, and her future performances, but at least she will have an Oscar!  I know it's not official, but I really cannot see how she will not win the Oscar at this point.


  1. I thought she was great, and would be a very deserving winner. I also don't see how this is a supporting performance, but whatever.

  2. I've come to really like this perf over time after initially not being a fan, and that's through her energy and charisma. I also disagree that it's a supporting perf. Especially when put next to the actresses in the Supporting category. (Except Hunt, who is probably lead).