n Silver Linings Playbook,
we get Pat Solitano (Bradley Cooper), a former teacher, newly released
from a mental institution after a violent psychotic incident, heading
back into the hornet’s nest that he calls home, the South Philly
domicile of his parents, Pat Sr. (Robert De Niro) and Dolores (Jacki
Anna Karenina latches onto the idea of life played
out on a constantly shifting Old World stage — jazzed up with a sensual
restlessness and humor to equate 19th century society and the theater as
realm both subject to rules of order that cannot be circumvented.
In Seven Psychopaths,
Colin Farrell plays a struggling screenwriter who stumbles into a criminal
plot to earn money by kidnapping dogs for large ransoms. Things go awry
when the writer’s bumbling crew (Sam Rockwell and Christopher Walken)
faces off against a dangerously deranged mob boss (Woody Harrelson).
Yann Martel’s bestselling novel captured the hearts and minds of readers
from the moment of its release and kicked off feverish discussions for
an adaptation, although the challenging story — about a young man adrift
at sea with a Bengal tiger as his only companion — scared off several
would-be Oscar-chasing helmers.
Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace now feel like
warm-ups for newbie Bond star Daniel Craig, pacing laps before the
full-on marathon. If you buy this analogy, then Skyfall must be
seen as the race of Craig’s life, the one where he, in those final tough
miles, breaks free of the pack with cool confidence and a steady hand
at the helm (Road to Perdition director Sam Mendes).