Thursday, 25 February 2010

Crazy Heart: Movie Review

Crazy Heart: Movie Review

Crazy Heart
Rating: 8/10
Cast: Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall
Director: Scott Cooper
Already one of the faves for awards after early success, Crazy Heart finally ends up on New Zealand cinemas.
Bridges is Bad Blake, a 57 year old washed up, living the twilight of his life country singer playing bowling alleys and bars in deserted American villages. But Blake's loved - while his fans appear to be in the final years of their lives, wherever he goes he gets a rapturous reception - as well as some very pleased to see him groupies.
Blake is the archetypal bad boy of the country scene - battling alcoholism, refusing to write new material and a little envious of the success of his protégé Tommy Sweet (a pony tailed Farrell), he's clearly in need of redemption.
That salvation comes in the form of Jean (Gyllenhaal) who turns up one day asking for an interview - however, a burgeoning relationship blossoms - has Bad finally found what he needs to turn his life around?
Crazy Heart is Jeff Bridges' film - the Dude once again rolls out a suave performance, managing to capture the bitter regret of a hard rocker as well as encapsulating the charm which has seen him continue to garner success through the years. And it has to be said too that Bridges carries the country songs off well - there's certainly some toe tapping to be had while he's rocking the beat.
While Gyllenhaal acquits herself well as a woman who fights her every instinct to fall for a man she knows is bad for her, her character Jean can't help but be drawn to Bridges' Blake- and after some time in his company, it's easy to see why; with old age etched into his face but with a winning charm, Bad Blake's a new rock hero for the decade.
There's a nice juxtaposition between Blake's hardbitten rocking ways and the polished new country style of Farrell's Tommy Sweet - the contrast is an obvious one but it's clear that it's Blake who has the credibility to last the distance rather than this Johnny Come Lately.
The story of Crazy Heart is to be honest, nothing new - a last chance man desperate for redemption is given one last chance to overcome his own demons, it's Cooper's direction which keeps the film moving nicely along.

But it belongs to Jeff Bridges - not since his turn as the Dude in The Big Lebowski has he managed to command your attention on the screen as he does in this - it brings up memories of Mickey Rourke's turn in The Wrestler last year - showing there's still life in this old dog yet. And it's clear to see why he's the front runner for the Oscars this year - let's hope this time the Dude comes up trumps.

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