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2012 Austin Film Festival delivers great cinema

By Angela Covo and Dennis Ayotte, Jr. | 24 de octubre de 2012

Julia Stiles, featured in both "Silver Linings Playbook" and "It's a Disaster," stops to chat with La Prensa on the red carpet at the Paramount Theater in Austin at the 2012 Austin Film Festival. (Photo by Frederic Covo)

Austin.- From headliners like “Silver Linings Playbook” and “The Flight” to great Indies like “Murt Ramirez Want to Kick My Ass!” and “The Missing Piece: The Truth about the Man Who Stole the Mona Lisa,” the 2012 Austin Film Festival is screening gem after gem. The treasure hunt ends Thursday night with more shorts and Indies and a Billy Bob Thornton red carpet event for the new flick “Jayne Mansfield’s Car.”

We got to catch some special moments over the weekend, including a couple of red carpet events with Julia Stiles (“Silver Linings Playbook”) and with America Ferrera and Julia Stiles (“It’s a Disaster”).

Stiles stopped to chat with La Prensa for a few minutes on the red carpet for both movies. She explained she had a minor role in “Playbook” but wanted to be part of this film to have the opportunity to work with this group of actors and writer/director David O. Russell.

“He is a remarkable filmmaker and taught me a lot about acting … he was very intent on improvisation,” Stiles said.

While it was true her role was minor, it was also very important to the film -- and Stiles played it perfectly. In fact, the entire cast delivered fabulous performances in “Silver Linings Playbook” – and we granted the film our highest rating, FIVE STARS.

Oscar-nominated Russell, who wrote and directed this masterpiece, isknown for several other films including “Three Kings” and “The Fighter.”

Bradley Cooper plays Pat Solitano, a deranged, bipolar ex-teacher fresh out of the loony bin -- and we agree this is his best performance ever. In fact, all the cast members are powerhouses: Robert DeNiro, Jennifer Lawrence and Cooper anchor the cast as Julia Stiles and the hilarious (and diverse) Chris Tucker round it out.

Robert DeNiro is back and in classic form as Pat Solitano, Sr., the Dad; Jennifer Lawrence is absolutely outstanding as Tiffany, Pat Jr’s (Cooper) eventual love interest, and Chris Tucker, John Ortiz and Jacki Weaver add palpable balance as Pat’s closest friends and mother.

Pat (Cooper) is the centerpiece of the movie. His lack of self-awareness in every sense of the word coupled with his manic state and subsequent antics perfectly portrays Pat’s struggle to get back to normal. As you as watch the movie and see Pat getting all worked up, you absolutely wish you could reach out and slip him his meds so he would just chill out for a moment, but you begin to notice drugs aren’t going to help this guy.

Pat discovers the perfect partner in Tiffany (Lawrence) who appears to be just as screwed up as he is in the movie. She uniquely mourns the premature death of her husband by sleeping with everyone at her job -- nearly starting a riot before she gets fired. Riots and promiscuity aside, her character is phenomenal.

The almost incidental love story that underscores the movie provides the most delicious crooked chemistry between two people that we can remember on film.

Move over “ARGO”… there is no doubt that “Silver Linings Playbook” is definitely an Oscar contender.

When the credits rolled three things happened— Ayotte fell in love with Jennifer Lawrence, Covo’s respect for Bradley Cooper as an actor was finally cemented and we all remembered why Robert DeNiro is so great.

“Silver Linings Playbook” is a must-see film and opens nationwide on Nov. 21. The movie runs about two hours, but goes by in a flash.

Angela Covo is managing editor and senior writer at La Prensa San Antonio with Dennis Ayotte, Jr, who is also a columnist and writer-at-large for the paper. The team created "At the movies with Covo & Ayotte" and are our resident film critics. They can be reached at angela.covo@gmail.com and dennisayottejr@gmail.com.  

 

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