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Crazy Heart Review

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Crazy Heart

Fox Searchlight

R 112 min




Once more the perfect combination of actor and role pays off with an Academy Award.

These days with politics and other BS playing such a big part with the Oscars it’s nice to see it done the right way.

It’s hard to imagine anyone who dislikes Jeff Bridges, and after all the years in the business he’s at the right place at the right time.

Now don’t get me wrong; CRAZY HEART isn’t a great film but it does feature a great role.

Bridges is Bad Blake, a has-been country artist scratching out a living playing some of the seediest places on the music circuit. Even more humiliating is the fact that one of Blake’s sidemen; Tommy Sweet (Colin Farrell) has become a superstar. Dispirited disillusioned and drunk, Blake slops his way from meaningless gig to meaningless gig. It’s at one of these that he’ll meet Jean Craddock (Maggie Gyllenhaal) a single mother and aspiring journalist with issues of her own. This will turn out to be more than a one night stand and soon Blake has bonded with Jean and her four-year old boy.

Here’s when another curve ball comes Blake’s way and he’s offered the opening slot his old protégé Sweet at an arena show. Sweet’s actually a good guy and gives his old mentor the respect he deserves but still pride and the bottle make the situation tense.

Even worse, the drinking will put a stake through the heart of his new relationship with Jean.

From that point it’s catharsis time with the help of old pal (and film producer) Robert Duvall as yet another cantankerous western character.

The story is something of a cookie cutter redemption film that could have been biographical in a lot of ways for a good many country artists we know today. It’s reportedly inspired by the lives of Waylon Jennings, Kris Kristofferson and Merle Haggard.

I’d imagine most of us (especially the musicians) will be able to relate to Blake’s misfortune and weaknesses and at least encouraged by the ending. I know I was.

T Bone Burnett’s music is solid though I guess I expected to be really knocked over, given the critical praise.

At any rate it’s a good movie featuring a great performance.






Email Westside Steve@aol.com

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