Silver Linings Playbook is a remarkable movie. David O. Russell has created a fully-realized, wonderful world full of honest characters and real problems, yet at the same time it celebrates life in all its quirky ways while recognizing what makes movies special.

Rarely has a film been able to follow the basic structure of a romantic comedy-drama, while exceeding expectations at every turn; embracing the cliché yet staying true to the characters and story. While the story structure may be familiar, the execution is anything but. Powerful performances and keen direction aside, it’s the characters and their issues which shine, as the emotion of the characters is front and center in a film that’s equal parts hilarious and heart-wrenching.

Based on the novel of the same name by Matthew Quick, Silver Linings Playbook tells the story of Pat Solitano (Cooper) as he is let out of mental institution after an eight-month stay for a violent crime. We meet Pat as he’s trying to pick back up his life and marriage, living with his Philadelphia Eagles-loving father, Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro) and mother, Dolores (Jacki Weaver). Pat’s lost weight and has a new, positive mindset in life – seeking the silver lining in everything.

Determined to win back his wife, Nikki (Brea Bee), Pat dedicates his time to this sole purpose. Yet when he attends a dinner with his friends, Veronica (Julia Stiles) and Ronnie (John Ortiz), he unexpectedly meets Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), Veronica’s sister. Tiffany is just as damaged as Pat, and Jennifer Lawrence injects light, warmth and power into the film with her performance. Lawrence has had more than her fair share of success in the past few years, first with an Oscar-nomination for Winter’s Bone, and of course her more mainstream roles in films such as The Hunger Games and X-Men: First Class, but it’s here where she’s most mature, utterly in control of a character who is anything but.

Just as Tiffany is consistently teetering on the edge, so is the film. David O. Russell operates on the brink of chaos; a perfect blend of wit, heartbreak, joy, despair, and every emotion in between. As adept as Silver Linings Playbook is from a story standpoint, the film is also as visually groundbreaking as many of Russell’s past films. He never frames a shot quite right, consistently shifting the camera in new and exciting ways, getting to the emotional core of each scene in the process.

Despite a rather telegraphed final act, Silver Linings Playbook is continually authentic in its characters’ stories. While at times cliché, David O. Russell understands how to navigate around this as both a writer and a director. Russell is the maestro of each scene, perfectly blending the unexpected wit and emotion of its characters, while recognizing the appeal and comfort of telling a story that is ultimately uplifting.

As if two Oscar-worthy performances from Cooper and Lawrence wasn’t enough, De Niro gives his most powerful performance in some time, with one particularly emotional turn which gets right to the core of what makes Silver Linings Playbook so powerful: a balance of the uplifting and the emotional. Jacki Weaver holds her own opposite De Niro as she proves her Oscar-nominated turn in Animal Kingdom was no fluke. Even Chris Tucker gives a solid performance as Pat’s friend from the institution, Danny.

Fully embodying all the humor, sadness, anger, and love of its characters, Silver Linings Playbook is that rare breed of film that is laid out as a quintessential romantic comedy-drama, while subverting the rote expectations of a typical romantic comedy. With an absolutely stunning, hilarious, soul-wrenching cast, led wonderfully by Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, and the virtuosic direction of David O. Russell, you’ll be moved, entranced, and delighted throughout.

Grade: A+

Rated: R (for language and some sexual content/nudity)

Silver Linings Playbook opens in theaters on November 21, 2012.

A new Fifty Shades Darker trailer was released on Wednesday and ups the sexy for the sequel.

Ana and Christian are getting back together in the Fifty Shades of Grey sequel, but the former has a couple of new rules: No secrets, way less BDSM. Christian agrees, but new problems come to light: Is someone from the millionaire’s past haunting him?

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A new Fifty Shades Darker trailer was released on Wednesday and ups the sexy for the sequel.

Ana and Christian are getting back together in the Fifty Shades of Grey sequel, but the former has a couple of new rules: No secrets, way less BDSM. Christian agrees, but new problems come to light: Is someone from the millionaire’s past haunting him?

Dakota Johnson continues to bring a fun vibe to Ana Steele, playing the awkward lines with self awareness better than Kristen Stewart ever did as Bella in Twilight. “Have dinner with me,” Christian begs. “Okay fine, I will have dinner with you, because I’m… hungry,” Ana replies. The line could come off corny if executed poorly, but Dakota has a strong hold on playing this character for fun.

Tickets for Fifty Shades Darker are now on sale. Check out a new poster for the movie below:

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The Fifty Shades Darker synopsis reads, “When a wounded Christian Grey tries to entice a cautious Ana Steele back into his life, she demands a new arrangement before she will give him another chance. As the two begin to build trust and find stability, shadowy figures from Christian’s past start to circle the couple, determined to destroy their hopes for a future together.”

The movie hits theaters this Valentine’s Day. It stars Dakota Johnson, Jamie Dornan, Eric Johnson, Jennifer Ehle, Victor Rasuk, Luke Grimes, Rita Ora, Eloise Mumford, Max Martini, Bella Heathcote, Kim Basinger and Marcia Gay Harden, and is directed by James Foley.

It’s looking like Nick Robinson will go from battling dinosaurs to battling the process of coming out.

‘Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda’ actor revealed

According to The Hollywood Reporter, 21-year-old Nick Robinson is in talks to play Simon in the book to film adaptation of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda written by Becky Albertalli. The movie will be directed by CW/DC Universe mastermind Greg Berlanti.

Nick Robinson is best known for his supporting role in Jurassic World, in which he played big brother Zach Mitchell. He also co-starred as Ben in the book to film adaptation of the dystopian novel The 5th Wave starring Chloe Moretz.

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It’s looking like Nick Robinson will go from battling dinosaurs to battling the process of coming out.

‘Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda’ actor revealed

According to The Hollywood Reporter, 21-year-old Nick Robinson is in talks to play Simon in the book to film adaptation of Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda written by Becky Albertalli. The movie will be directed by CW/DC Universe mastermind Greg Berlanti.

Nick Robinson is best known for his supporting role in Jurassic World, in which he played big brother Zach Mitchell. He also co-starred as Ben in the book to film adaptation of the dystopian novel The 5th Wave starring Chloe Moretz.

Simon vs. the Homo Sapiens Agenda is an excellent coming of age/coming out LGBT YA novel which we’ve raved about here on Hypable before. Nick Robinson is definitely an actor we can picture in the role, so we can’t wait to see him play the adorable character.

The film is being produced by Wyck Godfrey’s Temple Hill Entertainment, who’s responsible for The Maze Runner series, The Twilight Saga, and the upcoming Power Rangers.

What do think of Nick Robinson as Simon?

If you haven’t read it yet, we highly recommend that you do. The book was first published last year:

After you read it, be sure to check out our exclusive interview with Becky Albertalli. Simon was her first novel!

Netflix has unveiled a new Series of Unfortunate Events trailer, showing off Neil Patrick Harris’ excellent portrayal of the evil, wacky, will-stop-at-nothing-to-get-that-money Count Olaf.

Neil Patrick Harris’ ability to convincingly become any person — whether male or female, young or old, ugly or beautiful — becomes abundantly clear in the latest ASOUE trailer. While some of us may’ve been a little skeptical of his casting initially, it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role after seeing previews like this.

The trailer begins with narrator Lemony Snicket (played by Patrick Warburton) warning that the new Netflix show is no delightful watch. Then the focus turns to Olaf and his mission to steal the children’s fortune, left to them by their parents after their untimely deaths:

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Netflix has unveiled a new Series of Unfortunate Events trailer, showing off Neil Patrick Harris’ excellent portrayal of the evil, wacky, will-stop-at-nothing-to-get-that-money Count Olaf.

Neil Patrick Harris’ ability to convincingly become any person — whether male or female, young or old, ugly or beautiful — becomes abundantly clear in the latest ASOUE trailer. While some of us may’ve been a little skeptical of his casting initially, it’s hard to imagine anyone else in the role after seeing previews like this.

The trailer begins with narrator Lemony Snicket (played by Patrick Warburton) warning that the new Netflix show is no delightful watch. Then the focus turns to Olaf and his mission to steal the children’s fortune, left to them by their parents after their untimely deaths:

The Unfortunate Events trailer also presents new looks at colorful characters including Uncle Monty (Aasif Mandvi, below), Aunt Josephine (Alfre Woodard, below), and Justice Strauss (Joan Cusack).

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A Series of Unfortunate Events premieres all eight episodes of its first season on January 13, 2017.

“Based on the internationally best-selling series of books by Lemony Snicket (aka Daniel Handler) and starring Emmy and Tony Award winner Neil Patrick Harris, A Series of Unfortunate Events recounts the tragic tale of the Baudelaire orphans — Violet, Klaus, and Sunny – whose evil guardian Count Olaf will stop at nothing to get his hands on their inheritance. The siblings must outsmart Olaf at every turn, foiling his many devious plans and disguises, in order to discover clues to their parents’ mysterious death.”

Another trailer was released two weeks ago — you can watch it here.

Is ‘Unfortunate Events’ looking as good as you hoped?

Harris previously confirmed that each book will be adapted into two episodes of the show. The first season of ASOUE covers the first four books, so presumably season 2 will roughly cover another four books. There are a total of 13 books in Lemony Snicket’s series.