Crazy Heart is based on the novel of the same name by Thomas Cobb. The film stars Jeff Bridges as ‘Bad’ Blake, a washed up country singer who is making a meager living playing bars and bowling alleys in the Southwestern US. When Bad meets Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a journalist looking for a story, and is indirectly reunited with his ex touring partner, Tommy Sweet (Colin Farrell) his life is changed. For the better.
There is nothing in Crazy Heart that we have not seen before; a man, down on his luck, who starts a relationship that unintentionally changes his life. We have not, however, seen such an amazing performance in a long time. Jeff Bridges carries the movie entirely on his shoulders. He does not just play ‘Bad’, he is ‘Bad’. Watching the film it is impossible to see where the character ends and the actor begins. This man sounds and looks like The Dude, but in the opening scene in the bowling alley, we realise that he is more like Walter from The Big Lebowski – past his prime and not happy about it.
Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell and Robert Duvall all give solid supporting performances in the film, but at the end of it, that is all they are – supporting a powerhouse of a performance from Jeff Bridges. The only complaint that could be had with Bridges, and all the actors for that matter, is that they mumble a lot of their lines. Possibly in an attempt to underplay their roles?
Overall, while the story may not be anything unusual, the film is more than worthy of a watch, just to see Bridges’ performance. An Oscar well deserved.