Crazy Heart


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Rating: R

Jeff Bridges as Bad Blake
Maggie Gyllenhaal as Jean Craddock
Colin Farrell as Tommy Sweet
Robert Duvall as Wayne
James Keane as Manager
Anna Felix as Barmaid
Paul Herman as Jack Greene
Tom Bower as Bill Wilson
Ryan Bingham as Tony
Beth Grant as Jo Ann
Rick Dial as Wesley Barnes
Debrianna Mansini as Ann
Jerry Handy as Cowboy
Jack Nation as Buddy
Ryil Adamson as Ralphie
J. Michael Oliva as Bear
David Manzanares as Nick

Special Features:
Deleted Scenes

Other Info:
Widescreen (2.35:1)
Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound
Spanish and French Languages
Running Time: 111 Minutes

The Details:
The following is the official description of the film:

“Award winner Jeff Bridges delivers the performance of a lifetime in ‘Crazy Heart,’ the powerful story of a country music star’s rocky road to redemption. Bridges stars as Bad Blake, a boozy, broken-down singer who reaches for salvation with the help of Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a journalist who discovers the real man behind the music. But will Bad’s hard-livin’ ways and crazy heart cost him his last chance at a comeback?”

“Crazy Heart” is rated R for language and brief sexuality.

A lot of independent films enjoy showing a character whose life is slowly spiraling down the toilet only to be ultimately flushed down the sewer by the end. I think it’s easier for them to portray the dark and dismal side of life, so that’s why they go for it again and again. It’s a lot more difficult to show a character who has hit rock bottom, then slowly climbs his way back up again. That’s what made “Crazy Heart” interesting to me. It’s the opposite of “The Wrestler” in many respects.

Jeff Bridges plays Bad Blake, a washed up country singer who has gone from playing major concerts to performing at bowling alleys while drunk. He literally walks out of the middle of a performance to vomit in the alley. He’s a mess, really. Oddly enough he meets a young reporter named Jean Craddock who, for some reason, is attracted to Bad. She and her young son inspire Bad to clean up his act. Unfortunately, it also means the stakes are upped when he relapses. You can’t help but root for Bad despite the fact that he’s so messed up. You want to see him succeed, reconnect with his estranged son, and generally get his life together. I guess it’s a testament to the charm of Jeff Bridges that he can make an otherwise unappealing character someone you cheer on.

Bridges is backed up by an excellent supporting cast. Maggie Gyllenhaal is good as Jean Craddock. The idea of her falling for a drunken country singer old enough to be her father is a bit hard to believe, but somehow she does make it believable. Colin Farrell is also great as Tommy Sweet, the former apprentice of Bad and a hot young country singer. He would be an easy character to hate since he seems to have stolen the throne from Bad, but Farrell makes him rather likable. Then there’s Robert Duvall as Wayne. He’s the one man that Bad can count on to stick by him no matter what, and he’s the guy that ultimately helps him pull himself up again from his lowest point. Everyone wants to have a friend like Wayne.

The music in the film is also excellent. Written by T-Bone Burnett and Stephen Bruton, it is toe-tapping good and will make you want to download the soundtrack on iTunes. I was impressed with both Jeff Bridges and Colin Farrell in their singing performances.

If you’re a fan of Jeff Bridges, then “Crazy Heart” is required viewing for you. He carries the film and delivers a strong performance. It’s not his most memorable role, but definitely a good one. Anyone that’s a fan of country music or dramas with uplifting endings will want to check it out, too.

Unfortunately, the bonus features on the DVD are minimal. You only get a few minor deleted scenes. There’s no ‘making of’ featurette, no documentaries on the creation of the music, no commentaries, no music videos, etc. Maybe they’re on the Blu-ray or some future edition of the movie. DVD customers are out of luck.