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Review: Crazy Heart

‘Crazy Heart’ is one of those movies that sorta came out of nowhere. I feel like I hadn’t heard very much about it until nearing the Golden Globes (bad movie blogger!). When Bridges took the Best Actor Golden Globe, and the song ‘Weary Kind’ taking Best Song, I knew I’d better get myself to a theater to see this film.

‘Crazy Heart’ was written and directed by Scott Cooper, a first time writer/director, and based on the 1987 novel by Thomas Cobb. It tells the story of Bad Blake, a country music singer and songwriter that never really broke through to the big time, and is trying to turn his life and late career around.

The film opens with Blake (Jeffrey Bridges) arriving at a gig at a Bowling Alley, we are quickly introduced to his clear problem with alcohol, and his one-night stands. His Agent (clearly often a thorn in Blake’s side), pushes him to write new material, and to reconcile with his protégé, the much more successful Tommy Sweet (Colin Farrell), to which Blake says to go screw.

His luck soon changes in Santa Fe, where he meets Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a young reporter looking to make a name for herself. The two hit it off, and just as they meet, Blake’s agent forces him to take be Tommy Sweet’s opening act.

The film is filled with great music from the likes of T-Bone Burnett, (the genius behind some of the music from O Brother Where Art Thou) Stephen Burton, and Ryan Bingham. While watching it, I remembered that the last film I saw whose soundtrack stood out to me was O Brother, I only realized the connection after the fact. Bridges and Farrell do an excellent job on vocals, if I didn’t know better, I’d take both as country stars.

We’re with Bad Blake the entire film, and Bridges carries the role all the way. You see his pain, you see his frustration, and you feel for his character. If it weren’t for Bridges, ‘Crazy Heart’ would be just another down on his luck, but turns it all around story that we’ve seen hundreds of times. But he’s just so damn good, that you’re sucked into it. You want to see what happens, where it goes, and if he does really turn it around.

Is it worth seeing? It’s worth it simply for the soundtrack. Will Crazy Heart be remembered forever? Probably not, but, its stuck with me long enough for me to recommend it to anyone whose even a little bit curious, and it’d be good to see this little movie go far.

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