I just saw this movie for the 2nd time yesterday, and I enjoyed it even more than the first. The performances by the supporting cast were awesome, with Robert Duvall in a great role as "Bad" Blake's friend, helping him overcome his alcoholism. The other minor roles, mostly of Blake's devoted fans and fellow musicians, really made this a great movie. Of course, Jeff Bridges as "Bad" Blake was outstanding and should be the runaway favorite to win Best Actor. But he had great material and a stellar cast helping him out.Why this movie did not make it onto the expanded <more>
list of Best Movie Oscar nominations is baffling. Was it too "Red State" for the mostly liberal movie critics that comprise the Academy? They didn't overlook Jeff Bridges or Maggie Gyllenhall for their performances for Best Actor & Best Supporting Actress and it rec'd a nod for Best Music. But why not Best Picture? Or Screenplay? The entire story was very well written, the cinematography was outstanding, with excellent panoramic scenes of the western US, the music scenes were all perfectly choreographed, even when "Bad" Blake was too drunk to stand, and the character development was pitch perfect. As good as Bridges was as Blake, the writing had much to do with his ability to connect with the movie goer. This was some very excellent screen writing and deserved an original screenplay nod. A truly worthwhile movie experience and should most definitely have been nominated for Best Picture. Go see this gem.
There have been times when a great performance pushes the level of a film that is barely mediocre to "overrated"; thankfully this is nowhere near the case here. Here is a performance that can not be praised enough, with plenty of emotional force, subtle, skillful, and at times, overwhelming in its depiction of a man whose spirit has lost its way, and who might not know what to do with a second chance.Bridges has proved himself one of our best actors around, with plenty of bravado and sexiness in "Against All Odds", and much innocence and wonder in "Starman". One <more>
is bound to be entertained and not cheated in any movie he might be a part of. What he has achieved in "Crazy Heart" is at times indescribable because it is an accomplished performance, a rich, heartbreaking, exhilarating turn. With the camera on him at all times, there is no room for a false move, and this man delivers something to be treasured."Bad" is a man who has lived hard and played even harder. He is suddenly facing the consequences of his actions, and when given a couple of hard wake up calls and the opportunity to find some real happiness, he is not able to make the best choices. The question here is whether he is going to be able to conquer his demons or fade away in a haze of alcoholism and despair.There is some pretty good direction and acting here, and it is not all Bridges'. His entire supporting cast is strong and sensitive, especially Colin Farrell, as the young man who tries to come through for his mentor but is having a tough time getting there."Crazy Heart" is not your typical country biopic, or a lesser attempt at building much out of nothing. It explores real emotions and human flaws. It doesn't want to teach anything, but it lets us in as observers, and we might be able to come up with our conclusions while listening to some good music and watching some great performances.
Hollywood is full of surprises. Just when you're ready to throw in the towel and groan in despair that EVERYTHING Hollywood produces is trite garbage, along comes a movie like this one that not only is well acted but actually has a comprehensible and respectable story. Jeff Bridges gives a strong and masterful performance as a broken down singer whose life is in shambles. He succeeds in engaging and keeping the audience's attention and brings a complex and troubled character to life. It is a performance worthy of special recognition. The rest of the cast is also excellent, especially <more>
Maggie Gyllenhaal whose presence adds immeasurably to the movie's watchability. The chemistry between Jeff and Maggie is intense and remains so throughout the movie as the audience watches their cinematic relationship evolve. What makes this movie especially effective is that it avoids becoming just another piece of corny hokum and stays on course as the characters work through their situations. Plausibility and creativity are at work resulting in a high quality cinematic experience.
Saw an early screening of "Crazy Heart". "Crazy Heart" is a very good film for one reason. Many critics have praised it and will continue to do so. Many critics will write it off as "just another washed-up musician struggling to overcome their addictions and weaknesses and make sense of things", etc. In a way, they are right. In a way, this is another one of those movies. But, because of Jeff Bridges' absolutely amazing performance, this film is more than that. If you want to see an actor breathe real-life into their character, endow truthful subtlety in <more>
their part, and absolutely nail a role that they were born to play, then you need to see Jeff Bridges rendition of Bad Blake. I believed that Bridge's portrayal of "The Dude" in "The Big Lebowski" was the essential role of his career, but after seeing this performance, I've changed my tune. It's true that we will not be witnessing cinematic history with the incredible plot or awe-inspiring film-making. However, if you are a fan of acting and want to see one of those performances that comes along every once in a rare while, please check out this film.
Stumbling toward salvation, one day at a time (by Chris Knipp)
'Crazy Heart' is a simple but emotionally resonant movie about a 57-year-old alcoholic country singer whose career is on the skids. There's not much to the story, but not much is necessary with Jeff Bridges as the singer, Bad Blake; Colin Farrell as Tommy Sweet, his handsome acolyte, now a big country music star; Maggie Gyllenhaal as Jean Craddock, a small-time New Mexico journalist with a four-year-old boy who has lousy luck with men, and falls for Bad; and Robert Duvall as Wayne, the singer's clean-and-sober bartender-protector.Bridges, Gyllenhaal and Farrell have never been <more>
better, and Duvall is always pure gold. This movie is Bridges' chance to give a master class in acting, and he does not disappoint for a minute, but he's not alone in the spotlight, and the depth of support he gets is what makes Crazy Heart worth watching.A lifelong musician and many-talented artist painting, photography, ceramics whose thespian preeminence in Hollywood has yet to win him an Oscar, Jeff Bridges inhabits the songs he sings on screen as convincingly and seamlessly as he fits into the shambles of a life and mess of a body that is the film's protagonist. This musical integrity is important because Bad Blake is one of those disintegrating performers whose art has not faltered, though his life has. The songs he sings are his own, and when he's on stage, he's alive. The rest of the time he's lying, deceiving, or numbing out. A great line is when he's asked by Jean where his songs come from and he replies simply, "Life, unfortunately." A parallel to Bridges' work in 'Crazy Heart' is the similarly lived-in and authentic performance as a waning dance hall singer by Gérard Depardieu in Xavier Giannoli's 'The Singer'/'Quand j'étais chanteur,' a richly atmospheric little film released but barely seen in the US. But the milieu here is very different, and as American as 'The Singer's' is French. First time director Scott Cooper has said this movie tells "Merle Haggard's' story and Kris Kristofferson's and Waylon Jennings'. As Bad Blake, Jeff moves like Waylon, he has Merle Haggard's songwriting ability and Kris Kristofferson's charisma." Of course Bridges looks a lot like Kristofferson, and Bad Blake puts his hard times into his felt, authentic compositions as Waylon and Merle did. The songs are composed by T Bone Burnett, and are fine; more authenticity is added through other songs such as Townes Van Zandt's "If I Needed You" and Waylon Jennings' "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way." Burnett composed the songs with the late Stephen Bruton; and the closing ballad, "The Losing Kind," with Ryan Bingham. Farrell as well as Bridges does his own singing, and his Irishness merges fairly convincingly into a slick country style. Just as Bad Blake is the mentor of Tommy Sweet, in real life Robert Duvall has become a mentor of the actor-writer-director, so his presence anchors the film and presides over it. Bridges knew of the movie but held off from committing to it till he learned his friend Burnett was in, so this is project that must have felt right, ultimately, for all concerned.Bridges' Bad Blake is so authentically blousy and pathetic he's hard to look at sometimes. He's always drunk and at an opening gig at a Pueblo, Coloradi bowling rink, throws up in a back alley between songs, while the young pickup band he's saddled with has to fill in. In Santa Fe Jean shows up to do an interview, and a May-December romance develops as Bad woos Jean against her better judgment and plies her little boy with homemade pancakes the boy is hungry for a man in his life and Bad oozes charm, when he's conscious . Gyllenhaal, who played a character struggling with addiction and recovery herself in 'SherryBaby,' gives a performance as a women warring inside with loneliness and need. Her scenes with Bridges are central to the movie, and the chemistry is strong between them.Blake hasn't written songs for some years, but when he meets up with Tommy prior to a date opening for him to an audience of 12,00 in Denver, Tommy begs him to write some for him. In this way the screenplay manages to steer a course, perhaps a bit too easily, between success and failure. Clearly Bad Blake is still working, even if it's at lousy venues, and to prove it he's always on the phone to a hard-nosed Manager James Keane who's finding him the best gigs he can. This eventually leads to a contract to compose songs for an album with Tommy.'Crazy Heart,' which was written by Cooper from the eponymous novel by Thomas Cobb, is perhaps a bit schematic about the up-down-up trajectory of the talented loser, but it manages to be pretty realistic about the degeneration that is terminal alcoholism. Here, however, it's not a slide into hell like Mike Figgis' Leaving Las Vegas. Though only by the skin of his teeth, and with multiple ailments a car crash reveals, Bad is surviving. So when the moment comes and he hits his bottom, he still has the strength to straighten out. Maybe the fast-forward finale is a bit too upbeat, but the memory the movie leaves is, of course, of Bridges with a bottle, a guitar, and a sad sweet song, and of some of the year's best movie acting.
Engaging portrait of a flawed talent (by gilligan-11)
Jeff Bridges' incredible performance is not the only aspect of this movie that deserves praise. Bridges—who will most likely win an Oscar for his performance sorry, Colin Firth, it was just your bad luck to deliver your best performance in the same year —inhabits the character of Bad Blake so thoroughly and convincingly that you forget you're watching Jeff Bridges; he truly gives life to this alcoholic but talented country singer who is searching for some joy and redemption at the end of his career. Maggie Gyllenhaal is wonderful in a supporting role as Blake's girlfriend, <more>
and Colin Farrell is a genuine surprise as Blake's protégé, Tommy Sweet. By the way, who the heck knew that Farrell—and Bridges, for that matter—could sing so well? Bonus: the soundtrack is awesome. Interesting cinema synergy—Robert Duvall still a working actor at the age of 79 , who produced this film and has a small supporting role, won a Best Actor Oscar in 1984 for playing a character similar to Bad Blake in "Tender Mercies."
Snapshot: Brilliant acting by Jeff Bridges and some solid performances by others hold up a movie that has an incoherent, low intensity albeit realistic story. The score of the movie which is mostly country music is also pretty good.Highlights from the plot: "Crazy Heart" is not your average motivational movie with strong dialogue and high intensity drama. It follows a sober and a rather unusual romantic story. The story is loosely knit by a few incidents that follow the life of a very talented country musician who is also a raging alcoholic and a chain smoker. On one hand the lack <more>
of grandiose drama makes the story more plausible and real but at the same time some may feel that its devoid of depth or intensity. What's Good: Witty humor its pretty funny , The acting is top notch especially Jeff Bridges, The score is good especially if you like country music , The treatment given to the story is fresh in some waysWhat's Bad: The story does not SEEM to go in any particular direction. The pace is also a tad slow. The chemistry between Jeff & Maggie is kinda offbeatWho should watch it: People who really appreciate character development and who expect multi- dimensional characters etc. Jeff Bridges character might be a treat for such folks , folks who expect a good score Who should avoid it: Anyone who seeks out some high tension drama, powerful dialogue and a fast paced story should stay away from this one.
A Golden New Decade for Jeff Bridges (by littlemartinarocena)
The pleasure to see Jeff Bridges playing a man ready to start a whole new life, a day a the time, is indescribable. And as if that wasn't enough, love is the inspiring factor the motivating force. I've been a fan of Jeff Bridges since I first saw him in "The Last Picture Show", then "Thunderbolt and Lightfoot", "Fat City" right up to "The Big Lebowski" He's never less than totally there. Truthful and powerful even when he plays characters that are the opposite of truthful, the opposite of powerful that even don't seem to be there. <more>
"Crazy Heart" reminds us. He's one of the greatest American actors of his or any other generation. His face when he realizes he lost the little boy will haunt me forever. At the Golden Globes, in his devastating charismatic, humble way he thanked his parents. I thank them too Jeff, you are a wonder.
A good film that avoids cheap sentimentality and delivers an adult experience (by howard.schumann)
Like the plays and poems of William Shakespeare that emerge, James Shapiro notwithstanding, from the private pain of the author's life experience, country music comes from the sadness and personal longing of the songwriter. This has never been more clearly displayed than in Crazy Heart, the first feature by director Scott Cooper, the film that won an Oscar for Jeff Bridges. Based on a novel by Thomas Cobb, Bridges is country singer Bad Blake who is barely making it as a performer, beset by booze, a big stomach, and an unattractive beard. He was once a famous performer but now is limited <more>
to sing in saloons and bowling alleys but still draws a crowd because of his reputation.Although the character doesn't seem to care any more, Bridges talent as a performer is so great that the viewer will follow him all the way to the bottom if necessary. Blake is a poet as well as a musician and, like Jaques, the exiled lord and traveller in Shakespeare's As You Like It, can "suck melancholy out of a song, as a weasel sucks eggs". Redemption of sorts, however, comes in the form of Jean Craddock Maggie Gyllenhall who turns up in his hotel room for an interview. Jean, a single mother, who has to care for a four year-old son takes a personal interest in Blake and their mutual loneliness and disillusionment brings them together and also pulls them apart. While Crazy Heart is a sweet and gentle film that has a lot of humanity, it does not contain the kind of powerful conflict that would set it apart and make it truly memorable. Yet it is a good film that avoids cheap sentimentality and delivers an adult experience for adults, not an everyday occurrence in this age of super heroes.