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4.0 out of 5 stars Crazy Heart Review, February 28, 2010
This review is from: Crazy Heart [Blu-ray] (Blu-ray)
CRAZY HEART

STARRING: Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Collin Farrell, Robert Duvall, Jack Nation, James Keane, Tom Bower, Ryil Adamson, Rick Dial, J. Michael Oliva, Beth Grant and Debrianna Mansini

WRITTEN BY: Scott Cooper; based on the novel by Thomas Cobb

DIRECTED BY: Scott Cooper

Rated: R
Genre: Drama
Release Date: 16 December 2009

It's refreshing to know that a movie about something you have absolutely no interest in (Country music), can keep you enthralled for nearly two hours. Of course Crazy Heart is about more than just Country music, but still... it's nice.

At the time of writing this, I have yet to see Invictus or A Single Man, so Jeff Bridges has my vote among those nominated for an Oscar by an actor in a leading role.

Bridges is marvelous in this film. His character is not. His name is Bad Blake and he may have at one time been something to marvel over, as a somewhat famous Country music artist. We meet him long after any days of success or cheerfulness were upon him.

In the film's opening shot, he emerges from his 1978 suburban in a drunken stupor, delivering a very hilarious line in regards to his current situation: he's diminished to performing at a bowling alley. If it sounds bad to you and me, it's far more of a disappointment to Bad Blake. What makes the film so enjoyable though is Blake's inability to allow himself to fold to self-defeat; no matter how pathetic or embarrassing things get for him, he accepts them.

Such is the case, when Blake is informed by his agent that he has a gig to open for none-other than his long-lost protégé; a kid who made it bigger than Blake could have ever hoped to of, by doing everything Blake ever taught him. His name is Tommy and we hear a great deal of him prior to seeing him in the film. It's a very nice build-up to the welcoming appearance of the sensational Collin Farrell. Farrell was overlooked for yet another Oscar nomination for his performance as Tommy; his other from 2009 being The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus.

Tommy wants maybe nothing more than to repay Blake for the kindness he showed him. Blake could not be more offended by this however, and we see his drinking problem gradually become worse. Booze solves most hiccups in Blake's life; in theory at least.

Blake is not exactly `happy' with his life, but may not be aware of it until he meets a young woman who shows him a bit of himself. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Jane, an aspiring writer, interviewing Blake for a story.

While learning about Blake through the interview, Jane teaches us that Blake has sore spots regarding questions of his past relationships and as to whether or not he has any children. Soon we learn that he has long since lost contact with his 28-year-old son. As he and Jane start-up a romance together, he begins to take an interest with developing a fatherly like relationship to her four-year-old son; ironically the same age of his son when Blake last saw him.

This is not the `feel good movie of the year' and it doesn't try to be. It's a very realistic look at a life many people have lived in reality. If you haven't lived it yourself, chances are you know of someone who has had great potential, but drowned nearly all of it with alcohol or some other meaningless evil substance.

Crazy Heart stands out with other great movies like The Wrestler, Sherrybaby , Blow and Monster; it delivers a fascinating story, glorious acting and a uniquely innovative style of filmmaking.

Crazy Heart is a must-see for anyone pursuing a career in independent film. If a first time writer and director like Scott Cooper can put together an adapted screenplay as beautiful as this, and then direct it and somehow attract the attention of such talents as Bridges, Gyllenhaal, Farrell and even the legendary Robert Duvall (he plays Blake's best friend); then that ought to serve as a genuine piece of hope to anyone engulfed in aspiration.
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Showing 1-7 of 7 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Apr 23, 2010 12:32:00 PM PDT
Judi Fryer says:
I will never understand reviewers who feel compelled to write out the entire story of a movie rather than review the storyline, the cast, the music, etc., etc.

I would add that since this was the only review of the Blu Ray DVD I have seen on amazon so far, what would really have been nice is a review of the DVD itself, including a 'description' of the content on the second disc, the quality of the DVD, etc.

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 28, 2010 6:25:55 AM PDT
And I will never understand readers who complain and take things written by others so personally. I'm pretty sure I did review the storyline and the characters and the music pal, so wow. And I don't' review the DVD or Blu Ray special features; I review the film, so you'll have to get that info someplace else. Who needs a review on the special features anyway? If you like the movie, you can buy it and watch them.

In reply to an earlier post on May 8, 2010 5:43:47 PM PDT
C. J. Daisy says:
It was JEAN, not Ann.

In reply to an earlier post on May 10, 2010 7:50:34 AM PDT
No, actually we were both wrong - it's JANE. I looked at the wrong line on imdb.com, as I wrote the review a few weeks after seeing the film and forgot her name. Thanks though, because I never would have found this if not for you!

Posted on May 27, 2010 8:09:49 AM PDT
I'm one of those "last people who get around to seeing the movie that won "Best Actor" Oscar, a year later." You know the type: the very opposite of your friends who are "the first to know" (and 'been there, done that'). But you'll be glad to know I'm renting this one tonight . . . because of your fine review. Though I'm much too old to be "engulfed in aspiration," your concluding summation is enough to awaken old dreams:

"Crazy Heart is a must-see for anyone pursuing a career in independent film. If a first time writer and director like Scott Cooper can put together an adapted screenplay as beautiful as this, and then direct it and somehow attract the attention of such talents as Bridges, Gyllenhaal, Farrell and even the legendary Robert Duvall (he plays Blake's best friend); then that ought to serve as a genuine piece of hope to anyone engulfed in aspiration."

Tried to leave "helpful" no. 2 -- hope my vote "takes," for a change. Keep writing, Craig Whittle.

Mark B of the (usually-frozen) North

In reply to an earlier post on May 27, 2010 8:36:10 AM PDT
Thanks a lot and I hope you enjoy the film!

But I have to disagree with you on your comment about you being too old to be engulfed with aspiration. It's never too late - we only live once after all! If anything, you being wiser than others, and perhaps not having as many days left on this planet as some others, should be more engulfed with aspiration don't you think? I hope so! Listen to that song called DANCE - it's very inspiring! I get the sense that there is something you are not going after that you should be and if I'm right - THEN GO AFTER IT! Even if you don't succeed, you will feel better than regretting later, that you sat on the sidelines - that's a promise! Take care.

Posted on May 27, 2010 8:56:21 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 27, 2010 9:40:58 AM PDT
Thank you, for your inspiring vote of confidence. Since (to coin a phase) there's no one in the place, except you and me . . .

If you can find your way over to the world's largest website for musicians (HarmonyCentral) to their forums, they have a folder called "songwriting" where a thread I started called "first a great melody, THEN the lyrics . . . " has 10,000 (correct) "views" . . . between that, and your words of encouragement, Craig -- maybe I'll write a book. You can tackle the screenplay! Be well and happy.

-- Mark B.
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