Review: CRAZY HEART (2009) | Casey's Movie Mania | Movie Reviews, Features & Others

Sunday, 4 July 2010

Review: CRAZY HEART (2009)

RATING: 2.5/5

In this Scott Cooper's directing debut, CRAZY HEART, the movie centers on a 57-year-old alcoholic and onetime legendary country singer/songwriter Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) who is now in a career slump touring hundreds of miles a day in his beat-up truck to play numerous gigs in bowling alleys and bars with a different set of local musicians every night. When he is not performing, he spends most of his time getting drunk with cheap whiskey. But things about to change when he agrees for an interview with struggling young music writer and single mom Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal). Nevertheless they become friends and eventually falling for each other. And then comes an opportunity for Blake with an offer from his manager (James Keane) to have him open a big show for Tommy Sweet (Colin Farrell), a onetime member of Bad's backup band who's now grooming into a country superstar.

The premise of this movie is certainly nothing new or particularly refreshing at all. Not surprisingly, Scott Cooper's adapted screenplay (which is based on Thomas Cobb's downbeat novel) is terribly shopworn and feels more like a disposable, made-for-cable Hallmark melodrama.

Thankfully the movie is largely saved by none others than Jeff Bridges, with one of his finest performances ever seen in his long-time acting career. He gives Bad Blake a rough charm and grizzled revelations that made him so natural to watch for. Not only that, he is also simply amazing in his vocal ability. Thanks to T. Bone Burnett, who is one of the movie's producers, Bridges sings a number of country songs like a seasoned pro you might be mistaken him as a singer after all. All the tunes are catchy, quotable and poignant that the whole soundtrack itself made this movie all the worthwhile. The rest of the supporting performances, including Maggie Gyllenhaal and Colin Farrell play their respective parts equally well while Robert Duvall gives a perfectly low-key performance as Blake's old friend, Wayne.

On top of that is Barry Markowitz's perfectly atmospheric cinematography which captures the splendor of southwestern landscape of this movie.

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