directed by Scott Cooper
starring Jeff Bridges, Robert Duval, Colin Farrell
Come see Jeff Bridges as The Wrestler in Crazy Heart! Witness another actor’s rebirth on the big screen but this time without necessity! Bridges plays Bad Blake; a country singer who seems to be going through the motions while his career approaches the end. An old student of his, played by Colin Farrell, may be able to help out but not without the cost of Blake’s pride. His struggle is reminiscent of Randy (The Ram) Robinson’s, but for the audience it’s just not nearly as fun.
There are movies designed for actors to show their merit for prestigious award ceremonies aplenty; this is one of them. It’s a one-man spectacle without any room for sideshows. If we hadn’t already heard all of the hype surrounding Bridges and the Oscars would anyone even care? Could other roles be added to this story and be just as popular? Could a script this realistic and lifelike stand on its own without some big names to show it off? The answer to all of these questions is “no.” Ironically, the elements are all still there. Scott Cooper is really to be commended on his adaptation of Thomas Cobb’s novel. The film plays out like a slice of life belonging to some familiar relative or neighbor, but in the end the whole thing just feels like an afterschool special. That’s not to say it was a bad experience. Crazy Heart does have its charms.
Robert Duval’s pragmatic style of acting shouldn’t go unnoticed. To this day he remains a movie icon to be studied by all. When the man is speaking, the audience believes anything that comes out of his mouth. He is so nonchalant in his acting style that we could never imagine that he is anyone other than the man he’s pretending to be. He was plain perfect for the role. The chemistry between his character and Bridges’ could have been fuel for the entire film but there just wasn’t enough of it. His moments were sparse and he didn’t really arrive until late in the show.
On the other hand, Colin Farrell could have been replaced by (insert actor here). He showed up just fine but since his face is so popular one might ask the question, “Why him?” He played Tommy Sweet, and although his relevance to Bad Blake explains to us just how far out front this man’s career has gone, he almost could have been left out of the story. He looked the part and pulled off a famous country singer’s appeal, but with such limited lines and screen time it couldn’t have been that hard. He’s done this before. He simply put the car in cruise control and let the script hold the wheel.
So da da da, Jeff Bridges is an old, worn-out country singer with a drinking problem. He lives in hotel rooms, falls for a younger girl, smokes too much, pees in an empty milk jug, and his protégé is stealing all of his thunder. He dissolves into this character perfectly. He is definitely worthy of all of the praise. His performance turns a mediocre film into something special. That something special may not be for everyone, but a select few might really see its appeal. Oh yeah, that reminds me, Maggie Gyllenhaal is in it, too.
Crazy Heart: http://www.foxsearchlight.com/crazyheart