I was pleasantly surprised by SLP and interestingly enough, 30 minutes into the film, I was already thinking it was one of the year's finest. The script is definitely one of the best things about the movie- it's realistic, on point, with no-bullshit or overly dramatic sequences, and most importantly, it manages to be both emotional and funny, both unsettling and easygoing. I also thought the main theme, that of mental illness, was well represented, even if they overreacted in some cases; moreover, since there have been so many people affected by it in the last decades, that depression or anxiety symptoms are common knowledge, unfortunately. The good thing is the film gives it a happy ending and enforces the idea that people can get past it, that you can survive and live a normal, happy life with it, if you just fight hard enough.
One of the SLP strong points was definitely the cast, starting with Bradley Cooper- who knew he could act? I never paid too much attention to him, I always considered him to be just another Hollywood heartthrob, but he was outstanding in this role and I sincerely hope he will be nominated at least for some awards. Jennifer Lawrence was amazing, as expected and she is definitely on her way to stardom, although I wouldn't actually say she is Best Actress material, but close enough. Even the supporting cast delivered, starting with Jacki Weaver, who I love, and continuing with Julia Stiles, her husband, played by John Ortiz, and even Chris Tucker. Robert de Niro was also exceptionally good and worth of its inevitable nomination, but not enough for a win, at least in my eyes- I think the supporting category is very strong this year and will be won by either a Les Mis actor or by DiCaprio.
The direction was very good, although I wasn't a fan of the often shaky, dynamic shots that Russell used, but I did love the close-ups. The music was particularly interesting, especially the Alt J song which I will definitely look up soon, and there's nothing good or bad to say of the sets and costumes- they were perfectly fine for the film.
In the end, Silver Linings Playbook is, indeed, one of 2012's best films and you should definitely see it, for its strong story, approachable characters and way of dealing with a delicate theme.