Crazy Heart (Reviews)

CRAZY HEART
(12/16/09; Drama, Music)
Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Beth Grant
SCR: Scott Cooper; based on the novel by Thomas Cobb
DIR: Scott Cooper
MPAA: R for language and brief sexuality.
1 hour 52 minutes
BOX: $39,225,262

Bridges finally won his Academy Award for his portrayal of Bad Blake, a hard-drinking washed-up country legend relegated to performing in bowling alleys and dive bars. During a stop in Santa Fe, he agrees to an interview from an equally damaged journalist (Gyllenhaal, also nominated) and a connection is formed.

There is no way in hell this relationship can succeed and every reason to believe it’s only going to make things worse for ol’ Bad. But one of the strengths of Cooper’s underrated adaptation (also his directorial debut) is the redemptive quality of the storytelling.

Okay, sure: Bad’s struggle with staying sober probably shouldn’t have been so easy and the last act coasts along. But I wanted so badly for Bad to get himself right that I was more than willing to overlook those things. Farrell is uncredited as a major country star a la Tim McGraw.

The music, credited to Stephen Bruton, T-Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham – and performed by Bridges and Farrell – is comprised of sturdy and catchy songs, which might be one of the most believable things about this film. (Fox Searchlight)

— DENNIS WILLIS

Author: Dennis Willis

Dennis Willis is an award-winning producer, TV host, producer, director, editor (he preferred Avid until a torrid affair with Adobe Premiere, and the rest is history), author and film critic (print and radio). Dennis produced and hosted the TV programs Reel Life, FilmTrip, Soundwaves (1983-2008) and produces the annual Soundwaves Xmas program. He is currently the film critic on KGO Radio in San Francisco, and a member of both the San Francisco Film Critics Circle and the Broadcast Film Critics Association.

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