The Free Press, Mankato, MN

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February 22, 2013

Oscar preview: Searching for 'Silver Linings'

(Continued)

But while Chastain was the “it girl” last year -- and she showed her chops again in this film about the team responsible for killing Osama bin Laden -- Hollywood couldn’t help but take notice of Lawrence’s incredible performance.

Lawrence plays a young widow with a personality disorder, and her subtle (and sometimes not so subtle) shifts in mood are absolutely mesmerizing on screen.

Actor in a Leading Role

Will win: Daniel Day-Lewis, “Lincoln”

Should win: Day-Lewis (but I want Bradley Cooper, “Silver Linings Playbook,” to win)

OK, I get it. Day-Lewis is the male version of Meryl Streep; he disappears into every role. True genius. Undoubtedly, he embodied Abraham Lincoln, to the ridiculous degree that he and Sally Field were texting back and forth as Lincoln and Mary Todd (eye roll).

But can’t we just give Day-Lewis and Streep lifetime Oscars or something? A big, giant statue that would be good for every single movie they do for the rest of their lives?

That would keep Awards Season a lot more interesting, and it would give a breakout actor like Cooper the chance for some much-deserved recognition.

Besides the melodramatic “The Words” last year, Cooper’s never really had a role of any substance. Playing a man with bipolar disorder trying to rebuild his life gave him the chance to show he’s got major talent.

Writing -- Adapted Screenplay

Will win and should win: O’Russell, “Silver Linings Playbook”

O’Russell said he did this movie as a gift to his son who has bipolar disorder. And if you’ve ever met anyone who has it, you’d recognize that person immediately in Pat, played by Cooper.

O’Russell perfectly captured and humanized the disorder in his script, not to mention the myriad eccentricities and disorders of the other characters in the movie. And the originality of the plot mirrors that of the characters.

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