REVIEW: ‘Crazy Heart’

Director:
Scott Cooper
Cast:
Jeff Bridges
Maggie Gyllenhaal
Colin Farrell
Rated: R

This could easily be the 2009 version of “The Wrestler.”

This film stars Jeff Bridges as a country singer who goes by the name Bad Blake. Blake was once very successful, but time has taken its toll and he now travels the country in an old truck playing smaller gigs.

Because of his state of life, Blake’s health is declining and he is turning to alcohol in many cases. His life seems to get some light, though, when he meets and starts a relationship with a reporter named Jean, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal.

“Crazy Heart” really works because of how it combines a road trip story by taking its protagonist to multiple locations and a character study about a musician who’s trying to hold onto his passion.

This created an emotional but at the same time charming story about a man who not only wanted to love his craft again, but love another person and start a relationship. At the same time, though, it’s tragic because of how broken the main character is.

Likely the weakest part of the picture was a subplot about a record deal. It’s understandable that this was an aspect, considering Blake needed money, but it did feel out of place with the rest of the emotional tone of the film.

As for the acting, Bridges lends one of his best performances of his career in “Crazy Heart.” No pun intended, he really pours his heart and his soul into the performance, creating a vulnerable, emotional character.

Gyllenhaal was also strong in her role, creating a very relatable character.

The music in “Crazy Heart” should also be commended, as it lends itself in a big way to the film’s success. For that reason, “The Weary Kind,” a song featured in the picture, should snag the Academy Award.

Overall, “Crazy Heart” is a strong film and worth a watch thanks to Bridges’ performance alone. 4 out of 5.

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Author: Matthew Liedke

My name is Matthew Liedke. I'm a reporter for the Bemidji Pioneer in Minnesota, but I also have a passion for the art of film. This passion led me to start writing about film in 2008. From 2008-2016 I wrote pieces at my own website, After the Movie Reviews. Then, from 2016-May 2018, my write-ups were featured on AreaVoices, a blog network run by Forum Communications Company. Today, I now write film reviews and other pieces here on Word Press. More about me: I'm a 2012 graduate of Minnesota State University Moorhead where I studied journalism and film. Outside of film, I enjoy sports, video games, anime and craft beers.

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