Bradley Cooper is spreading his wings in four new indie movies that are making the festival circuit. It’s a huge departure from the raunchy comedies like The Hangover franchise that made him a household name; and action-thrillers such as Limitless and the A-Team he has lately been seen in. Cooper’s latest choices have him opting for small provocative films and distancing him from the laid-back characters he has been known for.
Brian Klugman and Lee Sternathal wrote and directed The Words, a story within a story about novelists coming to terms with their lives, work and the decisions they have made.
Dennis Quaid plays Clay Hammond, a successful writer who has written a new novel called The Words. He reads passages from his novel to an audience and then recounts the story to a grad student played by Olivia Wilde. Hammonds’ novel details the life of an aspiring writer named Rory (Bradley Cooper) who struggles to get his work publish and only finds success when he passes off a manuscript he found as his own. The manuscript was written by an old man (Jeremy Irons) and is based on the man’s life as an American soldier living in Paris during World War II with his French wife. Rory’s plagerized novel wins him literary awards and establishes him as one of the most promising new authors. Rory finally has to face the consequences of his actions when the old man confronts him with the truth. Most of the scenes about Rory and the old man’s life during World War II are seen through flashbacks. The movie also stars Zoe Saldana as Rory’s wife Dora who gives her husband unwavering support even when the truth about the novel is revealed. Ben Barnes also stars as the younger version of Jeremy Irons’ character.
David O. Russel wrote and directed The Silver Lining Playbook, which is based on a novel by Matthew Quick. Bradley Cooper is Pat Solitano, a former teacher who is bipolar. He moves back in with his parents after checking out of a mental institution. He tries to get his life together and reconcile with his ex-wife. Things become complicated when he meets a troubled young woman named Tiffany (Jennifer Lawrence). The film also stars Robert De Niro, Chris Tucker, Julia Stiles, and Jacki Weaver.
Susanne Bier’s Serena stars Cooper as George Pemberton and Jennifer Lawrence as his new wife Serena. They move from Boston to North Carolina where they intend to establish a timber empire. Things get bad for the couple when Serena discovers she can’t have children and plans to kill the woman who bore George a child prior to their marriage. The film also stars Toby Jones, Rhys Ifans, and Sean Harris.
The Place Beyond the Pines is directed by Derek Cianfrance. The film stars Ryan Gosling as a motorcycle stunt rider who considers committing a crime in order to provide for his wife and child. This decision has him going up against a cop-turned- politician played by Bradley Cooper. The film also stars Rose Byrne, Eva Mendes, Ray Liotta, Dane DeHaan and Bruce Greenwood.