Written and directed by Scott Cooper and based on the novel by Thomas Cobb, Fox Searchlight Pictures presents Crazy Heart, starring Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhall, and Robert Duvall. With arguably the best score of the year, Crazy Heart is seeping with soul, and is already inspiring plenty of award season buzz.
Check out the review below…
- Director/Writer: Scott Cooper
- Novel: Thomas Cobb
- Cast: Jeff Bridges, Robert Duvall, Maggie Gyllenhall
- Music: T Bone Burnett
Four-time Academy Award nominee Jeff Bridges stars as the richly comic, borderline-tragic, romantic anti-hero Bad Blake. Blake’s a washed up, hard-living country music singer who’s had far too many years on the road. Playing long ago #1 hits in beer joints and bowling alleys, he meets Jean (Gyllenhal), a journalist who discovers the real man behind the musician – and inspires Blake’s turn of redemption.
- Bad Blake: There’s something so painfully honest about this character it’s nearly intoxicating. He’s got a mouth that puts Joe Pesci to shame, an unrelenting drinking problem, and three failed marriages – but you adore him, and you’re rooting for him the instant he hits the screen. Blake struggles to keep his head above troubled waters, but never makes apologies for being exactly who he is – until, of course, it affects his relationship with Jean. Then the whole, “it’s never too late” theme comes into play and we see a hysterically degenerate man really toy with self-sacrifice to find redemption.
- Performances: Round of applause. Bridges, Gyllenhal, and Duvall all brought their A-Game , as fairly expected. The on-screen chemistry between the entire ensemble seemed effortless. Bridges, specifically, may have found himself a signature role – he’s heartbreaking, really capturing the humor, passion, and total tragedy that is Bad Blake.
- Music: I haven’t seen a movie rely on music to shape its framework this heavily since Almost Famous. T Bone Burnett and the late Stephen Bruton have composed music that almost serves as a parallel narrative to the script. The score really enhances the tone of the entire film, and will play a prominent role in helping this project stand out.
- Length/Structure: The movie is long, which isn’t always unbearable. However there was a slight imbalance in the structure of the story. There was far too much tape disclosing Blake’s troublesome ways and not quite enough featuring his redemptive transition. We’ve got scenes on top of scenes with him babbling around like an ignorant scrub, and then suddenly, overnight, he goes to rehab and is a changed man with a brand new song. Bridges is powerfully believable, so anyone will accept the story – however the last fraction of the film seemed very rushed, and therefore stripped the audience and the story of it’s deserved pay-off.
Robert Duvall says it best, “This film honors a great American tradition: country music. There’s a wonderful roughness to it and it really gets to the hard living and a guy fighting with his demons.” I couldn’t say it better and I encourage everyone to go see Cooper’s film, especially with award season right around the corner. Jeff Bridges = Oscar Nod. Calling it now!