starring Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhall, Robert Duval, Jack Nation, and Colin Farrell
written and directed by Scott Cooper
Based on the novel by Thomas Cobb, Crazy Heartis a cathartic human story of the redemption of an aging country-western singer. Jeff Bridges plays Bad Blade, four-times married and divorced, one-time successful song writer, now scratching out a living touring in his pick-up truck performing in taverns with local“pick up” bands. Drunk and dirty most of the time. Lots of dirtiness. But in Hollywood almost nothing gets made without a happy, redemptive ending. Bad stops drinking and he writes his first new song in three years for a fellow country singer, the more successful competitor Tommy Sweet (Colin Farrell). It goes to show you that in the music business if you have one hit song you’re a blip on the pop culture map. But if you have five hit songs it’s a career. (There are hundreds of thousands of professionally working pop musicians in the world, but only a few dozen successful ‘major acts.’ Most musicians slog it out through an endless parade of motels and awful clubs. Consider the woeful tragic-comedy of the Canadian heavy metal group, Anvil. Fewer than one in every hundred high school rock bands rises to be the next U2, Bon Jovi, or Lady Gaga. Having a single hit song is hard enough, but to have several of them - well, like I said, that’s a career.) Bad isn’t rich. He isn’t good looking. He’s a burned out unshaven old man with a beer belly in jeans, constantly arguing with his agent while roaming the American prairie for nickels and dimes. But he practically worships his guitar.
Jeff Bridges gives up a fantastic performance, solidifying her status as a great film actor. Like Val Kilmer in The Doors, Joaquin Phoenix in Walk the Line and Meryl Streep in Mama Mia!, Bridges does his own singing. (He sings a heck of a lot better than Meryl.)
The scenery of the American west in this movie deserves credit. It was filmed in places like New Mexico, Arizona, Texas and Oklahoma, congruent locations for the style of music it features. It is stunning, magnificent scenery occupied by people who are the salt of the earth.