Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Oscar drama: NEW Silver Linings Playbook video

Take a trip over to the AMPAS site for an
up-close look at this uber cool Oscar poster
designed by English artist Olly Moss.
Today is the deadline for members of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences to cast their votes in time to be counted for this year's ceremony, set for Sunday.  At this point the Best Picture seems a clear battle between the popular Argo and the historical drama Lincoln; presumably leaving the disturbing but brilliant Zero Dark Thirty and its political controversy in the dust although with the Academy you never know! Amour is too depressing ... but beautifully haunting in retrospect, Django Unchained too heavy on the N-word, and Beasts of the Southern Wild chances seem as ephemeral as the film itself. I can't imagine Les Miz winning - even though it's the clear favorite in my poll and holds a special spot in my heart! Like Life of Pi, despite their nomination there's been zero best picture buzz for either of these two screen adaptations. But what about another book to movie favorite, The Silver Linings Playbook?

It ain't over until the fat lady sings - or Seth McFarlane says 'that's a wrap' this Sunday night - and there is that 'anything can happen' feeling in the air. A feeling that has prompted major player Harvey Weinstein to make a rather unusual move on behalf of TSLP. Weinstein has a history of advocacy for his films - his fevered campaigning supposedly helped both The King's Speech and The Artist net the big prize - and this year he's put his hopes on The Silver Linings Playbook, the film based on Matthew Quick's rather amazing book. A few days ago, just days before the Oscar voting closes, 'at the very last minute' so to speak, the Weinstein Company released this half hour promotional video featuring none other than Doctor Oz, along with Senator Patrick Kennedy plus the cast, the director David O. Russell and author Matthew Quick.  That move caused IndieWire to proclaim "Harvey Weinstein Contracts Oscar Brain Fever" and Rope of Silicon came right out and called the release of the video a calculated move.


The cynical view is that the filmmakers are playing on the emotions of the Academy voters. The gist of the featurette talks about how the film's depiction of the main character's mental health issues has opened up a healthy dialogue, illuminating the lives of those that grapple with depression, anxiety, and uncontrollable rage.  And there is a moment, just about four and a half minutes in where the video features Robert DeNiro's very personal and emotional response to the discussion of mental health on Katie Couric's television show that could make you agree.  I do love that this film has broadened that dialogue ... I just hope it doesn't take it self too too seriously ala one of the title cards proclaiming it "the movie that became a movement". Movies should be movies first.

In any case, if you've seen the film already, you'll probably appreciate this featurette ... I wonder if you'll think the inclusion of Dr. Oz and Kennedy are a bit of overkill? It is, at the end of the day, a movie and should be judged, by the Academy anyway, on those merits rather than its' estimable social conscience.



Do NOT watch this 

Silver Linings Playbook featurette if you haven't seen the movie! Seriously!


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