Crazy Heart Film Review

Release Date (UK) – 19 February (West End Only: 5 March Nationwide)
Certificate (UK) – 15
Country – USA
Director – Scott Cooper
Runtime – 112 mins
Starring – Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell

Bridges has been nominated for the Best Actor Oscar for his portrayal of a washed up country music singer in Crazy Heart and with the competition not particular strong his year he’s the odds on favourite to win. Bridges is ‘Bad Blake’ a successful singer who never quite made the big time and is still on the road trying to scrape a living playing small gigs to devoted fans (The films first scene is a homage to Bridges most memorable performance the Dude in the Coen brothers The Big Lebowski, as down on his luck Bad is reduced to playing in bowling alleys). After meeting struggling journalist and single mum Jean (Gyllenhaal) the two begin to fall in love but Jean is wary of Bad’s alcoholism and its affects on her young son Buddy. Meanwhile Bad’s former protégée and collaborator Tommy Sweet (Farrell) has become immensely famous as a solo artist and although Bad is clearly bitter and jealous of Tommys success when he asks him to open for him and later write songs he cant refuse the money.

Crazy Heart feels very similar to last years The Wrestler, only this time it’s an aged singer rather than boxer who’s struggling to cope with life. However with the Wrestler it almost felt like Mickey Rourke was playing a character very similar to himself as he was a in a run down state himself but Jeff Bridges has clearly had to work much harder to convince us he can portray such a neglected character. He is credible in this department both physically and emotionally playing Bad as a coarse throated, tired and limping singer who turns to alcoholism simply because he is lonely and regretful about how his life turned out. He is also unexpectedly convincing as an authentic country singer; it’s not well known but Bridges is quite musical – he has released his own album Be Here Soon and has sung on a few film soundtracks in the past. Gyllenhaal matches Bridges performance (she does well no to fall in to the common trap of over dramatising the struggling single mum instead playing her as a caring but also strong woman) and sparks fly as the chemistry between the two feels almost genuine.

To make a film about a fictional country singer and songwriter the most important element that needs to ring true is the songs themselves and this is where Crazy Heart really does perform. The rhythmical lyrics are smooth and their emotional stories fit well into the country genre and scenes of feet-tapping audiences at Blake’s gigs were echoed by audience members at the screening I was at tapping along themselves which just proves how high quality the songs and music used in the film is. Crazy Hearts plot doesn’t indulge itself by over dramatising the washed up protagonist story or trying to give it an unrealistic fairytale ending and this is why the film is so enjoyable and captivating. With a flawless script, emotional performances and some great songs this is a superb film and definitely one to look out for.

Crazy Heart Trailer

About The Author

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.