Every year while watching the Oscars I find at least one film I didn’t know I wanted to see, and this year that film was Crazy Heart. I’m not sure I’d even heard of it prior to awards season, but once the accolades began pouring in for Jeff Bridges’s portrayal of down-and-out country legend Bad Blake, I knew I’d love it. And I did love it. Bridges is remarkable in his ease, holding nothing back in his performance and seeming to care little about how he looks while doing it. Bad Blake is the aftermath of a train wreck, and it’s difficult to feel any sympathy at all for him in the beginning. But then he meets a woman (played with great subtlety by Maggie Gyllenhaal) who shows him how to take your knocks without letting them bring you down, and he begins to make a turnaround. He begins to actually care again. That journey is truly beautiful in the hands of Jeff Bridges. And that is what makes Crazy Heart such a terrific film.
There was so much more for me to love in the movie, including Colin Farrell’s brief appearance as the young country star who was mentored by Bad Blake but ended up taking the spotlight, as well as another minuscule role by Robert Duvall as Blake’s truth-speaking pal. Above all the performances, though, is the music of Crazy Heart. T-Bone Burnett’s original tracks, as performed by Bridges, provide more than just the foundation for the actors; they actually provide the heartbeat of the film. And listening to the soundtrack in the years to come will bring vivid memories of this enthralling film. Which I love almost as much as watching the movies in the first place.
image via Internet Movie Database, linked to source