After a limited release last week, The Weinstein Company is set to expand their drama Silver Linings Playbook in time for the holidays and, unlike some previous awards darlings from the studio, we gave our full recommendation from the festival circuit. As David O. Russell‘s latest provides an entertaining take on a man recovering from mental illness, we’ve provided five movies to seek out before checking out the film. Ahead of its expansion, see the rundown below — and despite Bradley Cooper, Robert De Niro and heavy pill usage we’ve opted out of a Limitless mention.
Benny & Joon (Jeremiah S. Chechik, 1993)
Few films better earnestly depict a relationship between two peculiar individuals than Benny & Joon. Featuring a young Johnny Depp, the drama chronicles his connection with a seemingly schizophrenic Joon (Mary Stuart Masterson) with wit and just the right amount of quirk. If nothing else, it’ll make you yearn to revisit Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin classics. – Jordan R.
Flirting with Disaster (David O. Russell, 1996)
Proving his knack for dysfunctional family drama early on in his career, David O. Russell‘s sophomore effort follows a young Ben Stiller searching to find some answers regarding his family. As seen in everything from his latest effort to I Heart Huckabees and The Fighter, Russell establishes a set of memorable characters (including great turns from Josh Brolin and Richard Jenkins) while playing with cliches a cut above most directors in the genre. – Jordan R.
The Informant! (Steven Soderbergh, 2010)
One of the most severely overlooked films of the last few years put us directly into the mindset of someone dealing with bi-polar disorder, not unlike David O. Russell‘s latest. With both films taking on a comedic edge to this mental illness, Steven Soderbergh‘s drama is just as highly entertaining as we follow the true story of a whistleblower, with Matt Damon delivering one of his best performances. – Jordan R.
The King of Comedy (Martin Scorsese, 1983)
With Silver Linings Playbook providing Robert De Niro his most successful role as of late, it’s impossible to overlook one most underrated performances in The King of Comedy. Martin Scorsese‘s film takes a different look at mental illness, providing a darkly humorous, sometimes disturbing look as we follow Rupert Pupkin, a celebrity-obsessed aspiring comedian with his own abnormal approach to fame. – Jordan R.
Ordinary People (Robert Redford, 1980)
Though it be far more serious than Silver Linings Playbook, Robert Redford‘s acclaimed directorial debut features some of the absolute best psychiatrist-patient exchanges in cinematic memory. There’s also Donald Sutherland‘s guilt-ridden performance as a father coping with his son’s death. It’s the polar opposite of De Niro’s father in tone and style, but equally effective. – Dan M.
Silver Linings Playbook expands on Wednesday, November 21st.
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