Sunday, February 14, 2010

'Crazy Heart' a Little Too Real, but Excellent

Jeff Bridge is excellent as a drunken country singer.^

Jeff Bridges' Oscar-worthy performance as journeyman country singer-songwriter Bad Blake in "Crazy Heart" threw me to another time, one I'd just as soon forget. Bridges is as convincing an alcoholic as I've ever seen on screen and this comes from one who's denied every wrong, lied every lie, worshiped at every porcelin throne, bedded every Queen of the Silver Dollar and been dumped by every type of good woman.

Bridges is something of a poor man's Waylon Jennings (sounds a bit like him, in fact) in this role of a lifetime, one that 15 years ago would have been played--badly--by a worn out Kris Khristofferson in a movie that would have quickly been forgotten. This one won't be. It won't be a big commercial success, either, because it's entirely too good for that broad an audience.

You can see just about every turn of events in this movie coming like an 18-wheeler on a West Texas highway, but in Bridges' hands it's all new, all shocking and saddening and even the ending, which must have come from a focus group of 10-year-sober alcoholics, has the feel of something real, something that is inevitable and valuable.

Bridges and Colin Farrell, who plays Bad Blake's estranged singing buddy, sang their own tunes and each has a rich authenticity, though the stretch here isn't into the five-octave opera range. It's basic three cord country with a gravely whisky voice and a touch of Merle Haggard world-weariness.

Maggie Gyllenhaal, whose acting I simply adore, is just about perfect as Bridges' unlikely love interest. Robert Duvall plays a small role with considerable impact.

This, however, is Bridges' movie and he grabs the role by the throat and won't let go. Highly recommended, especially if you're interested in what it's like at the bottom of the bottle.


  1. You've bedded EVERY Queen of the Silver Dollar and been dumped by EVERY type of good woman? Really? All while being drunk and reeking of cigarette smoke? Daaaamn! I don't smoke or have a drinking problem, been told I'm not all that ugly, and I can't even get a date to take to the Grandin. You da man Dan!

  2. Doug: You'll note that the various Queens of the Silver Dollar are not the most desirable of the skirts many of us have chased. My old friend Tom Shirley once said they had "closin' time good looks." And you'll note that the desirable ones had enough sense to move away from me in a hurry. Don't much think any of that calls for "da man" kudos. (If you need a date for the Grandin, I can fix you up. You gay or straight?)

  3. Dan, Thanks for the offer but considering your track record I'll pass. Plus it looks like I have higher standards than you subscribe to anyway. From reading your posts it's obvious you have all the answers no matter what the issue. Hell, you're even convinced you can address my dating woes. Don't sell yourself short Dan...Roanoke knows that you are indeed "DA MAN".

  4. Doug: Au contraire, mon ami. I do not have all the answers no matter what the issue. I do, however, have a response to many issues. There's a huge difference. Hell, I'm 63 years old and I've seen some stuff--most of it two or three times. And my taste: I put forth my current wife and at least one of the previous ones as examples of taste that goes beyond your expectations (even my family accuses me of marrying up to Christina).

  5. Thank you, Doug. You are a great American.