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<< Entertainment >>

New Movie Review

"Crazy Heart"

Drama, Musical/Performing Arts and Adaptation. Rated R. 1 hour, 51 minutes.

Photo Credit credit: FOX Searchlight Pictures

Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal in Crazy Heart.

by Michael Handorf
handorf@comcast.net

Synopsis: An aging, alcoholic country music singer/songwriter who is well past his prime begins a relationship with a woman significantly younger than him.

Review: I enjoyed this movie, despite the depressing nature of the subject matter.

‘Bad’ Blake (Bridges) is a former country music legend reduced to touring the southwest playing dive bars and bowling alleys. His manager and record label isn’t necessarily looking for new material, unless Blake is willing to partner with one of his former protégés on a record deal.

Blake is content to continue driving his Chevy from gig to gig, living off a steady diet of whiskey and take out, until he meets a local journalist - Jean (Gyllenhaal) - who interviews him. He is drawn to her, as she is to him, despite the massive age and lifestyle differences. Jean also has a young son.

Jean and Blake strike up a budding relationship, but she needs a stability that the self-destructive Blake just can’t provide, even though he yearns to do so.

A series of events occurs in which Blake is forced to consider his mortality. Most of the film is focused on Jean discovering the man behind the musician, while Blake is forced to contend with his compulsive drinking.

To write any more about the film’s plot would rob the viewer of an opportunity to fully appreciate the story.

Bridges is excellent, very deserving of his 2010 Oscar, despite a fine showing from Colin Firth in A Single Man. Gyllenhaal continues to impress, and Colin Farrell is surprisingly good as Blake’s protégé, Tommy Sweet.

While I’m solidly recommending this movie, I will add that I have heard a number of people complain that there isn’t much to the film other than a lot of drinking and swearing by the lead character. This is a fair criticism, but those individuals are missing the deeper context – this is a man plagued by failed marriages, poor decisions, and the need to numb himself at every turn. Watching him seek redemption while he tries to hold on to the love of a good woman overrides those complaints.

Crazy Heart may not require a viewing in a theatre, but you’ll certainly want to watch it on DVD.

Overall rating: B


 

Photo credit: FOX Searchlight Pictures

Crazy Heart movie poster

 

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