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Crazy Heart

By Bob on August 5, 2010 6:37 AM

Crazy Heart is an insurgent movie. It has a stealth and quiet strength that sneaks up on you and then sucker punches your heart with powerful performances and a killer soundtrack. It's one lethal sumbitch.

Jeff Bridges gives the performance of his career in this story of boozy balladeer "Bad" Blake. This fictional country crooner's seen better days, but he keeps rollin' along in a rundown Chevy Suburban that's seen plenty of two-lane blacktop.

 


It's the kind of insanity many mainstream movies scrupulously avoid.

 

Bad's been reduced to playing with pick-up bands and throwing up in trash cans. He's a functional alcoholic with a voice that sounds more Townes Van Zandt than Conway Twitty. One look at Bad and it's easy to see he's a man living on rotgut whiskey and borrowed time.

 

By the time he makes it to Santa Fe, his career is almost out of gas. That's when doe-eyed journalist Jean (played by the magical Maggie Gyllenhaal) stumbles into his life with a tape recorder and notepad. As you'd expect (this IS after all a MOVIE) she gets more than a few quotes and soon she's smitten by the rode-hard-and-put-up-wet country singer.

 

Their romance is the only good thing in Bad's life.

 

His career maintains a southern trajectory until he grudgingly agrees to open for the "kid" he mentored into country stardom - Tommy Sweet (in a nice turn by Colin Farrell). Before you can scream PLEASE DON'T LET THIS BE A REMAKE OF A STAR IS BORN WITH KRIS KISTOFFERSON AND BARBARA STREISAND - director Scott Cooper keeps his movie from jumping the shark.

 

Willie & Me 2 - 350.jpgBad gets a shot at redemption thanks to his bartender buddy Robert Duvall. And while his career isn't cruising at 30,000 feet, he's at least pulled the broken down Suburban out of the ditch.

 

Director Cooper doesn't jerry-rig this juggernaut into a "Hollywood" ending. Instead, he serves up flawed characters with rough edges and uncertain futures. It's the kind of insanity many mainstream movies scrupulously avoid.

 

Willie and 1980's Bob the first time the Red Headed Stranger played Billy Bob's in Ft. Worth

 

In Crazy Heart it's an idea that's just crazy enough to work.

 

And it works very well.

 

The Boomer Brief recommends Netflix for your movie rentals.  The monthly rental packages start at only $4.99 - and you can cancel at any time.

 

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