February 25th, 2013
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Bradley Cooper & Jennifer Lawrence
I applaud the beautiful and sensitive movie, Silver Linings Playbook, which came away from the Academy Awards last night with Jennifer Lawrence winning an Oscar for Best Actress.
I had heard a lot about this movie before I recently saw it and I blown away by it.  Silver Linings Playbook definitely lived up to its reputation as a solid, slightly edgy, movie and it stands out because its story and its actors are courageous and hopeful.  The movie shines a light on two subjects that make people uncomfortable: grieving and mental health, and weaves these sensitive issues in a romantic-comedy-drama about families, resilience, growth and love.
In Silver Linings Playbook, the main characters, played by Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence, are trying to put their lives back together and not always succeeding.  Bradley Cooper’s character is dealing with a bipolar diagnosis and Jennifer Lawrence’s character has just become a widow after learning her husband was hit and killed by a car.
I don’t want to reveal too much about the movie because you really should see it for yourself.  But I think it’s safe to tell you that both of them talk directly and honestly about the ways they reacted when their traumas crashed into their lives and how those out-of-control decisions took them to places they didn’t want to be but at the time, they couldn’t help themselves.
And yet their characters never give up.
They are vulnerable and heartbroken and always trying to put their lives back together.  They believe there is a Silver Lining out there for each of them and this is where I fell in love with the movie.
Both characters put themselves out there in incredibly fearless ways given what they are dealing with because they are determined to find new lives.
You see how hard it is for them to change but they keeping going at it.
I know it’s only a movie but it can be an unexpected source of strength to watch actors or people you know go about the painful process of making changes within themselves and finding the will to take actions that, as small or as large as they might be, reveals to them and to others that they and we are stronger than we might have ever thought we were.
As a widow, I know how hard it is to stay positive about life but I found that staying positive can really make a difference in the decisions you make.  There were and still are plenty of times when I screw up but if I didn’t believe that things were going to get better I would find myself in a sad place and I don’t want that for myself or for you.
Unexpected sources of strength are within us and around us.  Dig down deep within yourself or reach out to to others.Move forward and surprise yourself.

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