The Plot: This comedy based on Matthew Quick’s novel, centers around the lovelife of a bipolar patient (Bradley Cooper). After being released from a mental-health facility, he moves in with his parents (Robert De Niro and Jacki Weaver), then meets a depressive widow (Jennifer Lawrence). That’s right, it’s a comedy.
The Buzz: This is the first film from embattled director David O. Russell since the Oscar-winning The Fighter. (Former stars George Clooney and Lily Tomlin are, very publicly, not fans of working with him.) Critics, however, love him, and have already lavished praise on Playbook, which garnered Oscar talk after screening at the Toronto Film Festival. As is Lawrence, who reportedly got the role after everyone from Anne Hathaway to Angelina Jolie expressed interest. Of Lawrence’s Skype audition, Russell told The Hollywood Reporter, "We had our choice of a lot of terrific actresses, and Jennifer came in at the eleventh hour and just stole it."