Bradley Cooper has played just about every kind of charming frat boy possible in his past movies, but critics see him breaking outside the mold with Silver Linings Playbook, a movie that’s earning him Oscar buzz.
As The Atlantic Wire noted, Bradley Cooper has played largely the same roles since breaking out in the 2005 hit Wedding Crashers, where he played a “preppy Maryland meathead.”
Silver Linings Playbook, which shows Bradley Cooper as a man struggling with his mental health, gives the actor a chance to show a different side, writer Richard Lawson notes:
“In the film, Cooper pulls off a daring bit of reverse psychology — in making his character frustrating, grating, and a little scary, he somehow wins us over. Though he’s playing another jerk, this time the performance is unvarnished and without any of the slick stuff that has been so off-putting in the past. It’s the first real bit of capital-A Acting that I’ve seen from Mr. Cooper and it comes as a welcome, if a bit jarring, surprise.”
The movie, based on a 2008 novel by Matthew Quick, shows Bradley Cooper as Pat Solitano, Jr., a former school teacher in Philadelphia who just completed an eight-month stay in a mental hospital after beating up his wife’s lover. Pat is coming home to live with his parents, and starts a precarious relationship with Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence), the Denver Post noted.
The movie and Bradley Cooper earned accolades at the Toronto International Film Festival, and with veteran director David O. Russell (The Fighter) at the helm it gives Silver Linings Playbook even greater odds at award time.