Silver Linings Playbook

Austin Film Festival 2012

As the leaves begin to turn (not really) and the temperature begins to cool (again, not actually happening), it’s clear that fall is upon us here in Central Texas. But even more so than the slightly reduced electric bills due to being able to turn your AC off for one day, there’s no better sign that fall is here than to see the Austin Film Festival and Conference roll into town. It’s the third of the major festivals on Austin’s yearly film calendar, and like its brethren SXSW and Fantastic Fest, has a unique appeal. It is first and foremost a conference for industry folk, namely screenwriters, that often brings the likes of Mitch Hurwitz, Shane Black and this year, Sopranos creator and Not Fade Away director David Chase in to talk to crowds of industry hopefuls. They also do show a number of films, which is ultimately what has our interest. Sure, there may be a lot to learn in the “Improving Your Logline” panel, but we’re not sure that too many of you would want to read the resulting article. So we’ll stick to the films, as we’ve done since 2006 when AFF became the first festival we ever covered as a site. As we look down the line-up of AFF 2012, it’s hard not to think that we’re seeing the festival equivalent of a rebuilding year. The entire line-up of films is undoubtedly lean, with only a few hot titles. What once was a refuge for Toronto Film Festival hold-overs has become a mish-mash of […]

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Silver Linings Playbook

While most of Austin, Texas is currently busy gearing up for Fantastic Fest (including our own Fantastic Fest Death Squad), we’d be remiss to not mention that another one of ATX’s homegrown film festivals, the concisely-named Austin Film Festival, has just released their lineup. And it’s a real beauty! The festival, kicking off in just under a month, will open with David Chase’s Not Fade Away and will also include screenings of such buzzed-about titles as Flight, Silver Linings Playbook, The Sessions, Quartet, and The Sapphires. The festival has yet to announce their Closing Night Film, but with such an already-strong lineup, it should be a doozy. After the break, take a look at the current feature-length lineup for the 2012 Austin Film Festival and Conference, including listings for their comedy and documentary sections.

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Silver Linings Playbook

In a word – no. Over the weekend, the Toronto International Film Festival wrapped up and, like the end of all good things, the festival closed out with the bestowing of awards to various films. Winners included Artifact, Seven Psychopaths, Laurence Anyways, Keep a Modest Head, Antiviral, Blackbird, Call Girl, In the House, and the big winner – David O. Russell‘s Silver Linings Playbook. The Bradley Cooper- and Jennifer Lawrence-starring film won the BlackBerry People’s Choice Award, which is generally considered to be TIFF’s most important award and an indication of a film’s chances at a Best Picture nomination come Oscar time. As Wikipedia tells it, “Given that the festival lacks a jury and is non-competitive, regular awards handed out at other festivals for categories such as ‘Best Actress’ or ‘Best Film’ do not exist at the Toronto International Film Festival. The major prize, the People’s Choice Award, is given to a feature-length film with the highest ratings as voted by the festival-going populace.” Plenty of stories on the film’s win have noted that this all but guarantees that Silver Linings will end up with Oscar nominations, particularly a Best Picture nod. And why is that? Over the past five years, two People’s Choice winners have gone on to win Best Picture (The King’s Speech and Slumdog Millionaire) and one film picked up a nomination in the same category (Precious). Good odds, right? Well, maybe not so much.

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It’s an understandable expectation that when one sees “new David O. Russell trailer,” they automatically ready themselves to see Mark Wahlberg’s face pop up once they hit “play.” But, oops, the Funky One was traded out as the lead of Silver Linings Playbook by Russell himself last summer in favor of someone else apparently willing to work for less pay (and less fuss) – Bradley Cooper. And while that’s the sort of casting might-have-been trivia we could all still be talking about years from now, hopefully the film’s first trailer will silence that, because it’s hard to imagine that Wahlberg could infuse the part of bonkers old Pat Solitano with as much desperation and joy as Cooper appears to do in just two minutes. Wow. Based on Matthew Quick‘s novel of the same name (sans a “the,” apparently), Cooper stars as a former teacher who attempts to reintegrate into normal life after four years in a mental institution. For Pat, “normal life” apparently means staying up till 4AM reading Hemingway, bugging his probably loopy parents (Jacki Weaver and Robert De Niro), running around with a trash bag on his body (sweat it out, Pat!), and just possibly falling in love with the equally-as-off-the-wall-nutty Jennifer Lawrence. Even better? The whole thing absolutely feels like a Russell film.

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