Passion Pit frontman and songwriter Michael Angelakos took to Twitter last night during the Oscars to criticize the Best Film nominee, Silver Linings Playbook, for its depiction of mental illness. Throughout the night, the singer posted numerous tweets explaining why he considers the David O. Russel-directed film to be "Cheap" and "Lazy" for the use of mentally disabled characters. This Twitter activity also saw many other users tweeting back and forth with Angelakos, which allowed him to elaborate on his statement. Michael Angelakos was diagnosed with bipolar disorder at the age of 18.
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In response to Twitter user "@lfitzmauirce" saying, "To be perfectly clear: did not like Silver Linings Playbook very much at all," Michael starts his criticism saying, "Cheap use of mental health as legs for plot." When another user brings up the fact that directory and writer David O. Russel has a son that has bipolar disorder, Angelakos simply responds, "So?" The next few tweets come without interaction:
"It's very much in right now -- in Hollywood, mind you -- to use mental illness as a way to bring added or almost entirely all drama to piece ... Be it TV or film, it's lazy and usually, perhaps inadvertently, regressive. That being said, it has to exist in some capacity for discussion ... Let's allow Hollywood to dramatize so there can be backlash/discussion. See, insurance companies barely recognize mental illness as health."
More comments come in where the singer responds and "retweets" in order to show how his arguments is being taken, whether it be rebutted, and/or embraced. Angelakos tried to end the discussion for the night with the following tweet:
Well, great to see people care about the issue. We still have a long way to go. Have a lovely day and give someone a hug.
— Michael Angelakos (@mangelakos) February 24, 2013
But the responses keep coming which brings up the songwriters next point, "Okay, really. The director, cast, and intention all great. Depiction of mental health questionable. That's it." So his argument was never against the cast or the makers of Silver Linings Playbook, but just the bigger issue of mental illness and how it is portrayed in the entertainment world. He tweets one last message regarding the topic:
I'm allowed to have an opinion as much as anyone without being called a prick. Twitter is not a discursive medium. Don't like? Block. — Michael Angelakos (@mangelakos) February 25, 2013
The responses keep coming but Michael Angelakos has made his point. He just does not agree with the character trope of the characters in Silver Linings Playbook. As a person who suffers from bipolar disorder, Michael has dealt with drastic lows, chaotic outbursts and suicide attempts. His disorder has affected his musical career to the point where numerous Passion Pit shows had to be cancelled during on of his episodes. For more on Angelakos, Passion Pit, and his thoughts on mental illness, read this recent Pitchfork cover story on the artist HERE.