Crazy Heart was one of those films I never really had any strong desire to see. But afterJeff Bridges won the Oscar for best actor, it suddenly became a film I felt I had to see, rather than one I wanted to. I mean, come on. . . it’s the dude! Gotta show some support.

Crazy Heart tells the story of washed up country and western singer Bad Blake Nelson, who has seen his fame diminish and has now resorted to playing tiny bars and bowling alleys. He is overweight, alcoholic and needs to turn his life around. This opportunity comes when a meeting with a female reporter (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and an offer from his protégé Tommy Sweet, (Colin Farrell) he is faced with a choice to turn his life around or stay and follow his same destructive path.

 

I have to admit, I quite enjoyed Crazy Heart. It’s a nice, touching story and gives us a deep insight into the life of a fading musician and how they can struggle with life after the fame and money have gone.

 

As you might expect, Jeff Bridges was brilliant as Bad Blake Nelson. He looked the part, and you could really feel Bad Blake’s pain as he tried to battle his inner demons and find something to give his life meaning again.Gyllenhaal was good as the single mother but nothing really stood out as a brilliant performance. Certainly not in the same league as some of her fellow nominees, but I thought their dynamic worked really well and she made the mother a really believable character in her own right, rather than turning into some kind of caricature only here to move the story along.

 

And seeing as the last country and western song I bought was “Achy Breaky Heart” by Billy Ray Cyrus, I wasn’t sure how I was going to respond to the music, but I thought it was great. A few of the songs are extremely catchy, annoyingly so. But they are used a great device to provide us with back-story for Bad Blake. Where as in Ray or Walk the Line or Other funny film where they use flash back. Bad Blake doesn’t like talking about his life so his songs do it for him.

 

This brings me onto one of the main problems I had with the film. Mirroring the current state of Bad Blake’s life, not a lot really happens. We see him tour, drink, fuck, repeat. I suppose we are supposed to be more concerned with the relationships between the characters and watch and as Bad tries to make something of his life.

 

Another problem i had was that I didn’t find the story original in any way. There are several movies where our hero has had a fall from grace and battles with his demons. The most recent I can think of is The Wrestler. It was practically the same story and in light of Jeff Bridges and Jamie Foxx’s Oscar wins, I thought Mickey Rourke was quite hard done by as he was fantastic.

 

While i really enjoyed Crazy Heart, it didn’t leave me with anything the way The Wrestler or Walk the Line did, and i don’t feel like I’ll think about it again apart from the songs I can’t get out of my head. I’m sure I have missed something here as a lot of professional reviewers have said that Crazy Heartis great. If you think my review of Crazy Heart was unjustified and not very good, just don’t tell my heart. My achey breaky heart. I just don’t think it understand…

Categories: Film, Reviews

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