My first thought after watching Silver Linings Playbook? How unlucky for Bradley to deliver his career-defining performance in a year when Daniel Day-Lewis decided to star in a movie. He might still win, but I doubt it.
Bradley completely carried this movie. He was on screen in almost every scene, and the whole world of the movie's characters revolved around him. His father needed him to be there during the football game to recreate the feeling of a family, the feeling that everything is alright and under control even after he lost his job. His new friend needed him to provide stability and sense of purpose that she lacked after the death of her husband. His old friend needed him to listen to his marital problems and absorb his despair. Everybody needed something from that damaged man, and he needed them all as well to fix the parts that were broken.
I can only imagine how difficult it was to play this character. There is so much change, so many mood swings, so much energy, joy, anger and aggression. I've written before that although I liked this actor already, he was yet to shock me in a good way. Well, this is it. And all it took was for Bradley "not" to play a struggling writer :) Just kidding. He did an amazing job here.
Grade change: 74--->79. A big jump but well deserved.
Image: The Weinstein Company