Neither Cloud Nor Lining
Review by Edmund Meinerts
A romantic comedy with a dramatic twist, SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK sees Bradley Cooper’s character released from a mental health facility only to find that his wife has left him. While trying to reconcile with her, he meets Jennifer Lawrence’s character and forms a bond with her due to their shared neurotic disorders. Balancing comedy against a topic as serious as mental health is a precarious tightrope act, but done right it can be very rewarding (and, come the end of the year, awarding). Director David Owen Russell seems to have pulled it off with aplomb, the film gathering significant acclaim and generating a fair amount of Oscar buzz.
As one might expect for a romantic comedy, the film’s soundtrack is dominated by song placements, but nevertheless, DANNY ELFMAN was hired to fill in the gaps with a short original score, easily the least substantial of his impressive six assignments of 2012. Ditching the orchestra, ELFMAN opted to assemble a light rock ensemble for the project, augmented by piano, some synthetic overlays and – most notably – his own vocal talent layered several times on top of itself to create a small oohing-and-aahing choir in much the same way BRIAN TYLER has occasionally done for early and/or low-budget projects. That choir lends a definite and somewhat cheesy 60s-retro vibe to SILVER LININGS PLAYBOOK, equating the psychedelia of that decade to the confused state of the protagonists’ minds.