David O. Russell

From A to Z – The Top Ten Movies of 2012

by Alan Rapp on December 28, 2012

in Top Tens & Lists

2012 turned out to be a pretty darn good year at the movies. There were two films which I gave perfect scores to this year, one of which the majority of the country won’t be seeing until early next year. I’m breaking my own rule of including it on the list, but we’ll get to that in a moment. Between these two films, which naturally open and close the list (as it’s presented alphabetically), are eight other films rounding out the class of 2012.

Cutting down my list to ten means I need to speak for a moment on films that barely missed the cut. John Carter was the year’s most under-appreciated film, The Cabin in the Woods turned the horror genre on its ear, Ang Lee delivered an amazing journey with Life of Pi, Wreck-It Ralph was this year’s best animated feature, Safety Not Guaranteed was a terrific little sci-fi flick almost no one saw, and Moonrise Kingdom was director Wes Anderson‘s best film since The Royal Tenenbaums.

Enough with what didn’t make the list, let’s get down to discussing what did:

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  • Title: Silver Linings Playbook
  • IMDB: link

silver-linings-playbook-posterWith his latest movie, Silver Linings Playbook, writer/director David O. Russell (The Fighter, Three Kings) delivers his most mainstream film to date in this adaptation of Matthew Quick‘s novel of the same name about a teacher (Bradley Cooper) who moves back in with his parents (Robert De NiroJacki Weaver) after spending eight months in a mental institution. At times I think Russell can get too cute for his own good (see I Heart Huckabees), but Silver Linings provides the director the kind of manic characters he enjoys while still forcing him draw within the lines. The result is one of the year’s best films.

Our story begins with the release of Pat (Cooper) from his stint in the loony bin after brutally assaulting a fellow teacher who he discovers sleeping with his wife (Brea Bee). Armed with medication he refuses to take and an optimistic attitude of winning back his wife (despite being still haunted by her infidelity), putting his life back together, and looking for the silver lining in every bad situation, Pat begins his slow (and rocky) road to recovery.

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