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Robert De Niro Breaks Down During Katie Couric 'Silver Linings Playbook' Interview: VIDEO


Robert DeNiro, asked about his Silver Linings Playbook role as a father whose son (Bradley Cooper) struggles with bipolar disorder, was overcome with emotion describing how he empathized with director David O Russell's personal experience with the same issues.

Watch the touching moment, AFTER THE JUMP...

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  1. Janet Grillo is CRINGING, I'm sure. When was the last time Russell saw his son?

    Posted by: jj | Feb 5, 2013 1:56:11 PM

  2. I have a form of Bipolar Disorder and was actually offended by the portrayal of this in the movie. It was inaccurate and, in some cases, almost played for laughs. While their intentions were certainly well-meaning, it confuses a wide audience as to the reality of some mental illnesses.

    Posted by: gr8guyca | Feb 5, 2013 2:12:42 PM

  3. No kidding, GR8. I saw it with a bipolar friend of mine, and while we somewhat enjoyed the first half, at the start of the second - when Bradley Cooper seemingly becomes magically cured by deciding to take his meds - we were baffled. The movie's just a routine Hollywood rom-com with a passing nod to mental illness, at best. And it's getting praised for this, for being "real?" Please.

    Posted by: jj | Feb 5, 2013 2:17:10 PM

  4. Nice to be part of the club that no one understands. And nominated for Best Picture no less. Bipolars present very well,so it's hard to know. And gay people think they are so unique. Everything gets diagnosed bipolar today but it's not.

    Posted by: Jake | Feb 5, 2013 2:21:01 PM

  5. Bipolar's "presents" very well? Um, sure. Maybe when they're not manic or down so low they're contemplating suicide. As for misdiagnosis, perhaps, but these days, if bipolar is misdiagnosed, it's usually for Borderline, which is just as horrendous, if not more.

    Posted by: jj | Feb 5, 2013 2:24:27 PM

  6. I agree with the last two comments. Decent first half, but then quickly devolved into what my friend and I called "Made for TV bipolar disorder." There are many diseases where the harsh reality of the disease (for the person who has it and the friends and family) simply does not match with the requirements for making a broadly appealing, mainstream, profit-generating movie.

    Posted by: Stefan | Feb 5, 2013 2:30:49 PM

  7. If it had appeared in the first half of the year, I doubt it would have had the same Oscar cache. It's a simple (if delightful) RomCom with mental illness being the gimmick it's hung on. Typical for the gimmick to fade in the 2nd half when the formulaic RomCom stuff must ascend.

    So I liked if having a whiff of mental illness concern, that affected characters other than the romantic leads. It was not a treatise on mental illness, and I was not taking it as a faithful depiction of various conditions.

    Posted by: Zlick | Feb 5, 2013 2:59:15 PM

  8. I'm with you, Zlick.

    i didn't even really see it as much of a "rom-com", to be honest. The audience i saw it with was clearly on the same wavelength as me - we were seeing a typically-O'Russellian take on love and family.

    i dare say the film contained more moments of painful truth than laughs. and any "mainstream" film that can at least introduce a wide scope of viewers into the worlds of those dealing with these disorders serves a good purpose.

    i thought the film was at its best when it showed the other "undiagnosed" issues and neuroses in the supporting characters, and especially how they affected everyone's relationships.

    DeNiro's performance was one of his most understated, ever. Shading and shading his own character's illness in the way that men like him often do.

    And Weaver broke my heart with every scene.

    Yes, there were laughs. I dunno. Some folks may see this as a comedy with some dramatic bits, what I saw in the cinema was a drama with moments of seriocomic whimsy.

    all in all, a fitting addition to O'Russell's oeuvre.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Feb 5, 2013 3:06:24 PM

  9. i mean, hey, it's not as if this film was "As Good As It Gets", you know what I mean?

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Feb 5, 2013 3:07:12 PM

  10. "A fitting addition to O'Russell's oeuvre." If by that you mean using mental illness as a gimmick, then yeah, fitting. Oy.

    Posted by: jj | Feb 5, 2013 3:09:46 PM

  11. you can choose to see it as a gimmick or you can see it as an artist who has a decided take on life and relationships.

    Spanking the Monkey. Flirting With Disaster. Three Kings. I Heart Huckabees. The Fighter.

    Each film defies its own genre conventions.

    He didn't make a documentary.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Feb 5, 2013 3:22:28 PM

  12. Is it based off a true story? I think I'm interested in at least checking this out now, after seeing this interview.

    Posted by: reality | Feb 5, 2013 3:43:58 PM

  13. whenever depictions of "gay" occur in art, we get people who say "that's how how gay is for me! i'm not like that! that's not my experience!" as if it's a singular thing. it aint.

    ditto with bi-polar disorders.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Feb 5, 2013 3:48:36 PM

  14. what i take most from this clip, is what i've taken most from the works of DeNiro, Rourke, Penn and other Greats over the years: there is nothing weak nor shameful about being emotionally open and vulnerable.

    it takes tremendous strength and courage.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Feb 5, 2013 3:52:36 PM

  15. Anything that can potentially shed light on, and withdraw some of, the stigma of mental illness is a plus in my book.

    Posted by: Marc C | Feb 5, 2013 4:10:18 PM

  16. True understanding of mental illness,even by professionals, is limited. Scientific understanding of other psychiatric problems, like personality disorders, is even more limited.

    Posted by: ratbastard | Feb 5, 2013 4:17:54 PM

  17. Is this the Kiwi hotline? This commenter over utilizes the service. I'm sick of reading him. The rest of you don't have a clue about biplolar disorder. Get back to idolizing a dead porn star you pathetic ninnys.

    Posted by: Josh | Feb 5, 2013 4:43:27 PM

  18. how about your provide the URL to your own page and share your own particular insights?

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Feb 5, 2013 4:49:36 PM

  19. Maybe you're in a Nursing Home and this is all you have to do. You shouldn't monopolize, It's rude.

    Posted by: JG | Feb 5, 2013 5:20:45 PM

  20. Maybe you're in a Nursing Home and this is all you have to do. You shouldn't monopolize, It's rude.

    Posted by: JG | Feb 5, 2013 5:20:45 PM

  21. JGJosh, you're in a nursing home? then don't read my comments and comment on the video, or someone else's comments.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Feb 5, 2013 5:29:40 PM

  22. ZLICK, I see what you mean, and I'm sure the filmmakers, while making the movie, weren't trying to make this a treatise or documentary on mental illness. And no one's saying they should have.

    But here's the problem - and it's a big one. The movie is being (heavily) marketed as dealing directly and deeply with mental illness, which it miserably fails to do. And while I agree, too, with MARC C, that at least it's shedding light on mental illness, it's troubling to think that the people who are lured to the theatre by the ads will merely be reassured by the movie's grossly false sense of how easily bipolar is treated, i.e., learn to dance, fall in love, bond with your parents. If only it were that simple.

    And, no, I don't think this is a matter of, "Well, this is what mass-market audiences will accept." It was a conscious choice by the filmmakers to go for risk-free, upbeat dramatics at any cost. At least "As Good As It Gets," which KIWI derides, gives an audience a very clear understanding of the ailment it's dramatizing - and doesn't cheat with a false happy ending. Of course, none of the above fits in with KIWI'S insistence that we look at this movie in terms of Russell's "oeuvre." I have. And it doesn't help.

    Posted by: jj | Feb 5, 2013 6:12:45 PM

  23. It also helps that in "As Good As It Gets" the character is afflicted with a "magical movie disorder"

    O. Russell wrote and directed the film based on his own experiences. This does not mean it's a play-by-play account of them. That's how inspiration works. He did not make a documentary about mental illness.

    But I dare say it's hardly "risk free upbeat dramatics" when a film shows a grown man having violent episodes that result in (spoiler alert) him physically harming his own mother. Much of the film was incredibly uncomfortable to watch, including for many of us who've been in situations to ones similar to those dramatized in the film.

    And the ending of As Good As It Gets was so patently false it was almost galling. Behold, the only thing a man suffering him his Magical Movie Ailment needed was the love of a waitress! ;-)

    rent the 1998 film "Living Out Loud" - that film's ending shows how false the ending of "As Good As It Gets" is.

    the film is being mis-marketed, however. but that has nothing to do with the filmmakers, and everything to do with the distributers.

    ads make it look like a rom-com. it aint.

    ads also made Cloud Atlas look like a balls-out action film, which it certainly wasn't, much to the disappointment of the non-cognitives whom i watched exit the cinema midway through in utter confusion.

    the film is not a film about "what it means to be bi-polar" - it's a story about these specific characters, and how they all deal (or do NOT deal) with their own ailments, diagnosed or otherwise.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Feb 5, 2013 6:35:57 PM

  24. Sorry, KIWI, but "Silver Linings Playbook" is based on a novel. A fictional novel. Get it? Which means it did not spring fully formed from Russell's loins (his son is not bipolar, btw).

    As to the rest of your dribble. I can't. My body won't let me.

    Posted by: jj | Feb 5, 2013 6:47:27 PM

  25. uh-huh. and adapted by writer-director Russell based on his experiences with his son.

    gurl, you have GOT to get that sand out of your vagina before it drives you utterly insane.

    feel free to simply ignore my comments from now since they're clearly something that you're unable to process.

    and unless he's now changing his tune, Russell has stated that his son has BPD and OCD, and his experiences dealing with all of that drew him to this project.

    and i know it's fiction. i've said a few times that Russell did not make a documentary about BPD.

    sand. vagina. wash it out, child.

    Posted by: LittleKiwi | Feb 5, 2013 6:55:48 PM

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