Beginning & Ending At The Table

In this Sunday’s N.Y. Times Oscar section, critic Manohla Dargis provides a nice reputational upgrade to David O. Russell‘s Silver Linings Playbook by comparing it Michael Haneke‘s Amour, or more precisely by evaluating them as equally strong and honorable films.

Amour and Silver Linings Playbook “are as different from each other in mood, look, feeling, cinematic technique and visual style as is possible to find in theaters,” Dargis observes. “[And yet] both are love stories. One shows love and a shared life at their inception; the other shows life, and the love that it sustained, ending. How Mr. Haneke and Mr. Russell convey the central relationships in their movies opens a window onto how each director expresses meaning through the dialogue and the performances; through human gestures and camera moves; through what is inside the frame and how everything in it is arranged (carefully or with feigned informality); through editing and its rhythms; through music or its absence.”

Dargis finishes by comparing two sitting-at-a-table scenes featuring the male and female leads (Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence in Silver Linings, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Emmanuelle Riva in Amour), and how the former is a beginning and the latter is the beginning of the end.

I’m posting this and providing the link because it’s a very wise and well written piece, and also, to be honest, to make things a little more difficult for the SLP haters. Anything I can do to denigrate, diminish or otherwise take this crew down, I’m there.