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January 29th, 2013
11:35 AM ET

'Silver Linings Playbook' director David O. Russell on the stigma of mood disorders

David O. Russell is one of the hottest directors in Hollywood right now. His movie “Silver Linings Playbook” is nominated for eight Academy Awards and has already won Movie of the Year at the American Film Institute Awards.  

Starring a high-caliber cast including Bradley Cooper as a bipolar man struggling to put his life back together, Robert De Niro as his dad, and Jennifer Lawrence as a depressed police officer's widow who ropes him into entering a dance competition, the film has both those really serious moments and wildly humorous ones. One of the most critically acclaimed movies of the year, “Silver Linings Playbook” has earned Oscar nominations in all four acting categories, plus nominations for Best Picture and Best Director. David O. Russell comes to “Starting Point” to talk about movie.

Russell, who has a bipolar son, was inspired by his own personal relationship with his son. “I five years ago was given the book that I based it on, and I was looking for a story that could make my son, who had struggled with mood disorder, feel part of the world, and this is a just real story.” he says. "’Silver Linings’ is what I learned from him.”

Russell even praises Cooper for “becoming” his son in his portrayal. Cooper is but one of the highly talented actors playing powerful roles that make the heart of this film. Russell comments on that. “Characters are what interest me more than anything else. There are a lot of beautiful movies this year. Ours is about performance and characters,” Russell says. “Individual people that I could watch all day, those are the people that inspire and fascinate me.”

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  1. Blair Fudge

    Bipolar disorder (also known as bipolar affective disorder, manic-depressive disorder, or manic depression) is a psychiatric diagnosis for a mood disorder. Individuals with bipolar disorder experience episodes of a frenzied state known as mania, typically alternating with episodes of depression.::^'

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    June 8, 2013 at 8:52 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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    I’m impressed, I must say. Seldom do I come across a blog that’s equally educative and engaging, and let me tell you, you have hit the nail on the head. The problem is something not enough folks are speaking intelligently about. I am very happy that I stumbled across this in my hunt for something relating to this.

    February 25, 2013 at 3:53 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. Brendan

    As a person with bipolar disorder I thought I should let you know it is more appropriate to refer to someone as "having bipolar disorder" than it is to say "a bipolar man" or "Russell who has a bipolar son." It is a more empowering and truthful phrase to capture the experience of living with bipolar. But, this movie moved me and it really did put my experience out into the world. Thanks to Russell and all of the actors in the film deserve all the praise and respect they are receiving. Thank you for posting this as well.

    February 4, 2013 at 11:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply

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