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Monday, February 22, 2010

Excuse To Eat Popcorn and Junior Mints: Crazy Heart

Yesterday I took advantage of the fact that there is a movie theater across the street from my new apartment and saw the Oscar buzz film Crazy Heart. My girlfriend hated it, but I thought it was amazing (for the record, the only movie we've ever mutually agreed was a total suckfest was the abomination known as Transformers 2 and the only movie we've ever mutually agreed was great was Up, so take her opinion on movies with a grain of salt haha). I'm a big Jeff Bridges fan and this performance is up there with his turn as The Dude in the classic The Big Lebowski.

In this movie, Bridges portrays an alcoholic country singer named Bad Blake who is years past his moment in the spotlight and spends his time out on the road eeking out a living playing gigs at bowling alleys and dive bars and sleeping in rundown motel rooms. A stop in Santa Fe, NM for a two night stand at a local music joint leads to him meeting a young music writer named Jean Craddock played by Maggie Gylenhall and a courtship/romance ensues. His alcoholism is of course a major issue in not only his romantic life, but in his general well being and you see this play out. Colin Farrell (somewhat randomly in my opinion) shows up as Tommy Sweet (my guess is that the character is modeled after country singers like Kenny Chesney, etc.), a former protege of Bad Blake who has gone on to great success as a solo artist, but still trys to help Bad out when he can by offering him gigs and the opportunity for a nice payday if Bad will just write some songs for him. Bad has mixed feelings about his former protege's huge success and pride factors in to his decisions to accept Tommy's offers of help. Throw in a Robert Duvall cameo and you've got a pretty solid cast acting out a great story.

Some parts of the film are predictable, but predictable in this case does not equal unenjoyable. This is a wonderful story told through incredible acting performances (if Bridges doesn't win Best Actor it will truly be a crime) and with a message that all of us can apply to our own lives.

The soundtrack is also fantastic if you have a place in your heart for "true" country and maybe even if you don't (and is currently only $5 on Amazon for the MP3 version). Jeff Bridges and Colin Farrell sing their own songs which is always a nice touch.

I give it two enthusiastic thumbs up and plan on picking this up on DVD to have around to watch many more times.

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