Crazy Heart

crazy heartCrazy Heart almost went straight to DVD and that would have been a crying shame because then hardly anyone would have known about what is probably Jeff Bridges’ best performance to date. Thankfully, it did make it to theaters and you can go see Bridges playing washed up country singer Bad Blake.

The movie’s got all the elements of a country song – a down and out cowboy traveling the highways and byways alone in a beat-up truck after too much booze and too many failed marriages, until the love of a good woman turns things around. And I dare say in this case, these elements also make for a darn good chick flick. Once at the top of his game, Bad Blake is now 57 years old, broke, and drunk more often than not. He goes from gig to gig in dive bars and bowling alleys and seems destined to continue his downward spiral until he completely self-destructs. Then he meets Jean Craddock, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, a small-town reporter who convinces him to give her an interview.

Jean ends up falling for him and this is the part of the movie that I found a tad unconvincing. She should be too smart to end up in a relationship with a broken down, self-destructive man many years her senior. But the heart wants what the heart wants. And it’s because of Jean that Bad starts dealing with some of his demons and letting go of the resentment and anger he’s been holding on to – a lot of it directed at  former protégé, Tommy Sweet, who’s now a huge star.

Colin Farrell plays Sweet and at first I barely recognized him, but I was pleasantly surprised by his performance. Also turning in a fine performance is Robert Duvall as Bad’s fishing buddy and bar owner Wayne. But it’s Bridges who makes the movie.  Him, and I would say, the soundtrack by T-Bone Burnett and Stephen Burton that features an outstanding set of country songs performed by Bridges and Farrell. (Yes they can sing.) But you don’t need to be a country music fan to appreciate the film. So if Crazy Heart is playing in a theater near you, go see it, because it’s a good bet Bridges is going to get nominated for an Oscar, and you’ll want to see why.

3 Comments

  1. Mainstream Chick, January 5, 2010:

    This one is definitely at the top of my list when it reaches the Baltimore/DC area!

  2. Mainstream Chick, January 18, 2010:

    I just saw “Crazy Heart” and understand why Jeff Bridges took home the Golden Globe last night. He was made for this role (or the role was made for him), and the music of T-Bone Burnett is pitch perfect for the drama. Overall, I agree with Adventure Chick’s review and was especially surprised by the strong performance (and singing!) from Colin Farrell. Chicks’ll dig it. And guys should like it too.

  3. Arty Chick, February 6, 2010:

    Just saw it today and I totally agree with Adventurous Chick’s assessment. Jeff Bridges makes this movie. I really cannot imagine anyone else having been able to inhabit the character as well. And I was very impressed with the singing by both Bridges and Farrell. This is another film that all us chicks can agree on. Go, if it is anywhere nearby.

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