Year In review- Movies

By: Daniel Friend
1. Silver Linings Playbook 
Silver Linings Playbook is the story of two forlorn individuals who, after a series of traumatic events, face not only the world around them, but the separate world their minds’ perpetually conjure. Both Pat (Bradley Cooper) and Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence) are diagnosed with bipolar disorder, and constantly suffer from rapid mood swings that are– to a degree– out of their control. Imagine When Harry met Sally meets Anger Management.

Both Cooper and Lawrence give performances that are certainly deserving of the highest of praises, and hopefully a win at this year’s Oscars. The writing is outstanding, and its direction made this story about true human experience not only a fantastic film, but makes you connect to the characters as if you had known them all your lives. We’re seeing Cooper stray from his usual raunchy comedy roles (The Hangover, The Hangover 2, Wedding Crashers) and enter a new world of subtle and rich dramas. Lawrence, on the other hand, has always been subjected to more gritty and emotional roles, and that becomes very clear from the moment she appears. It’s an indie film with big actors; it’s a deep look into the struggle of characters that still maintains a warm heart; it’s about the bad, the good, and the silver lining in-between.
2. Moonrise Kingdom
A slow burner of an indie film, Moonrise Kingdom is a picture for all audiences.  The story follows Sam and Suzy, two young and in love adolescents who do everything in their power to be together.  Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Hayward) are the quintessential characters for a film in which a summer fling is the catalyst for a much bigger plot than you may think. The two decide to run away from their homes in order to be with one another and live and abide by themselves, if only for a short while, on the New England coast. However, in most societies where children-parent relationships exist, the parents will generally tend to notice if their offspring suddenly disappear. In the beginning, Suzy resides at her home while Sam spends his summer at camp Ivanhoe. The two become pen pals and are immediately infatuated with one another. Soon after they leave to meet one another, those who are supposed to care for them notice they are obviously missing. The story comes to life following this, and the rich chemistry in the cast is in clear view. Along with the two mainly unknown main actors (Gilman and Hayward), the cast features a few of the biggest actors in all of Hollywoodland. Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, and Bill Murray are all in the bill and greatly add to the quirky quality of the film. The main reason it makes the list is due to the breathtaking direction of Wes Anderson and the surreal cinematography that’s done through the eyes of Robert D. Yeoman.  The scene where Scout Master Ward (Ed Norton) leads his troop through the center of camp Ivanhoe seems as if you’re in a completely different world of untouched nature that’s so green and vibrant you doubt that it’s even a real location. Moonrise Kingdom is a quirky and heartwarming production that makes even those who are old and grey feel like they’re still that young and naïve kid they once were.
Year in Review: Games
Year in Review: Television
Year in Review: Music