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Crazy Heart Reviewed
Crazy Heart - 2009
Crazy Heart begins with Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) rolling into a carpark of a bowling alley that his manager has got him to play at. We soon realise that Blake is a down and out country and western singer, who likes the booze too much and smokes constantly. He doesn't have a healthy life but he can cook for himself, which probably comes from the fact he has been through several marriages and learnt to do one good thing for himself. We also learn later that he has a son, who he has not seen since the boy was 4 and his whereabouts are unknown.
Blake leads a very lonesome life, he hasn't made new material for 10 years and he plays second rate bars and bowling alleys to loyal by-gone fans who see him as a somewhat small time legend of the genre.
Until he travels to Santa Fe to play his next gig, where he meets Jean. Jean is a newspaper reporter who wants to ask him a few questions for the locals and take a few snaps. Immediately Blake tries to turn on the charm and she feels drawn to him, somewhat fascinated by his aura and legend.
The Harder The Life, The Sweeter The Song..
Jean has a young boy, Buddy. Blake and Buddy hit it off and this is where Blake starts to think about his past and realise what he has missed along the way of his self destructive life. The doctor has also warned him about his state of health and if it was to continue that way, he won't be around much longer. But just no matter how hard he tries, he seems to let down those close to him.
Crazy Heart is one of those slow building character study type of movies, that absorbs into you as you get to know the person on the screen. Jeff Bridges is pure gold here, not that he ever puts in a bad performance. He is certainly the best thing about this movie. Him limping around after a car accident reminded me of his hobble in Thunderbolt and Lightfoot, 35 years earlier.
Don't get me wrong, this is a good movie and its meant to be about a man's journey and his "shot" at redemption, it just doesn't have a huge storyline or pulsating action and one shouldn't expect that. I was a little disappointed with the ending, it seemed very one dimensional and without giving too much away I thought there could've been a reconciliation if not with a certain person then maybe with one he wasn't expecting. Gyllenhaal, Duvall and Farrell all provide a solid ensemble in support as you would expect.
Interestingly the film was shot in only 24 days and Bridges and Farrell do all their own singing. Bridges also won his first Academy Award for best Actor and ironically Robert Duvall also won the same award as a broken down country and western singer for Tender Mercies (1983).
Crazy Heart Cast
Director - Scott Cooper