Director: Scott Cooper
Novel: Thomas Cobb
Screenplay: Scott Cooper
Producers: T-Bone Burnett, Judy Cairo, Rob Carliner, Scott Cooper, Robert Duvall
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Jack Nation, Colin Farrell, Robert Duvall
MPAA Rating: R
Running time: 112 min.
Not having read any other reviews for Crazy Heart at all yet, I’ve got a million dollars that says about 90% of them make reference to either 2008’s The Wrestler or in some way invokes the name of “His Dudeness.” Either of these comparisons are perfectly fair, though not altogether negative; at least not for this reviewer. Some will argue that the novel from which Crazy Heart is adapted, was released over two decade before Aronofsky’s The Wrestler even existed; but nonetheless, cinephiles are going to see an astonishing performance from Jeff Bridges and recognize that they saw this exact same story last year portrayed by Mickey Rourke. Though I don’t necessarily fall on the side of arguing that that is a bad thing, it is a little distracting once in a while with its obviousness.
Bridges is Bad Blake; a broke, traveling musician who roams from town to town playing tiny venues to aging, but adoring fans of his country music. We soon find that Blake is suffering from alcoholism and it’s beginning to effect not only his profession but also his personal life. It’s clear his past is troubled and layers are slowly removed as the film wears on to slowly reveal what those troubles are. Relationships have always seemed to be a problem for Blake, but after meeting a young journalist (Gyllenhaal) during an interview, he finds himself smitten with this single mother and so begins a rocky and likely doomed relationship. Over rocks and bumps, Blake continues to spiral downwards and the proverbial (and literal) scrapes Blake inflicts upon himself begin to get deeper and more severe; eventually inadvertently cutting others, even the ones he claims to love.
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