Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Movie Review: Crazy Heart

After watching the film Crazy Heart it is very apparent why Jeff Bridges walked away with Best Actor in a Drama at this weekend's Golden Globes. He appears on the screen as his character Bad Blake and you have no recollection of his past roles, successes and failures (Big Lebowski and Men Who Stare at Goats). Bad is the kind of character that leaves the audience with sadness and hope. Watching Bridges continue to lose himself in a tumbleweed way of life which primarily revolves around an abuse of whiskey, cigarettes, and a lot of women is painful and brings to mind Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler. Maggie Gyllenhaal also gives a beautiful, honest performance as a young mother who begins to care deeply for Bad despite their significance age difference. Ultimately what draws the audience in and makes the film a powerful one is the honesty and rawness of humanity. The complexities which encase each of us and show that we are composed of beautiful melodies as well harsh, deafening, ugly noise.

An area where the film fell short is in the embracing of Bad's past. It touches upon his years of success very quickly and sporadically but does not really open up; perhaps the reason for this is that Bad himself has been living a majority of his life in a blur. Also the rehabilitation of Bad happens so quickly that if you left for a bathroom break you would have completely missed his transformation from degenerate, washed up country artist to dignified song writing legend. In contrast to the slow bloom of the beginning of the film, the end comes crashing quite quickly, which I thought to be a little of a disappointment.

The reasons to not miss Crazy Heart fall mostly in the performances and the soundtrack which is beautiful and sad at the same time and works well throughout the storyline; and if folksy/country music is not something that appeals to you, the vast, majestic scenery of the southwest that soaks the background of much of the film will surely take your breath away.

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