NewsBlaze search box Daily News header

Crazy Heart Movie Review

By     get stories by email

Occasionally the players in a movie are so damned impressive, it's hard to figure out early on that the material they're working with pretty much pales in comparison. And Crazy Heart, directed by actor turned filmaker Scott Cooper, is more than a case in point of just what sorts of creative skills it takes to prop up that old adage about squeezing lemonade out of lemons.

Which also brings a bit of sage advice about the pitfalls in allowing actors behind the camera, something that rarely works. Because that particular hybrid in charge will naturally be more focused on their own internally nurtured craft, and with dramatic considerations tending to upstage inventive storytelling. But Crazy Heart, adapted from the Thomas Cobb dusted off novel that's been out of print for 22 years, nevertheless shines, for the sheer pleasure of experiencing Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal doing their otherwise far fetched thing on screen.

Crazy Heart Movie

Bridges is Bad Blake in Crazy Heart, a once popular heartland country singer who's degenerated into a barely functioning grumpy old alcoholic if not yesterday's news, and now relegated to performing in redneck bars and bowling alleys with kid garage bands, for chump change. Unconcerned about the very real possibility of drinking himself to death, Bad Blake nurses a grudge along with his gin bottles, against a rising star in the country music world (Colin Farrell in a curiously uncredited role), whom he once mentored and has now grabbed what Blake considers his spotlight turf.

Also curiously, neither fans nor panting female groupies seem to be aware of Blake's perpetually vomit stained, disheveled and deteriorated condition, something which only the audience is oddly supposed to notice and take for granted. And when worshipful small town journalist Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal) pursues him for an interview and he in turn pursues her for a little incidental romance, she hasn't a clue either. Even though her 'what was she thinking' single working mom character is presented as firmly entrenched with hard core family values, and a primary focus on caring for her vulnerable four year old son.

And the thirty year age difference, a staple in these sorts of man made, male fantasy movies, is once again left unexplored as a dramatic dilemma. But oh, how Bridges and Gyllenhaal get those erotic, flirty sparks to fly between them, anyway.

Fox Searchlight Pictures
Rated R
2 1/2 stars

Prairie Miller is a multimedia journalist online, in print and on radio. Contact her through NewsBlaze.

  Please click this get stories by email button to be notified about future stories, and please leave a comment below.

  Please leave a comment here     If it does not display within 10 seconds, please refresh the page

Related Movie Reviews News

When Hollywood releases a violent action film, 'loosely-based' on truth, it's certain that Hollywood is about to play fast and loose with the historical record.
Prairie Miller has a conversation with Will Smith, David Morse and Concussion director, Peter Landesman, plus news of the Zomba Prison project and Star Wars.
The Women Film Critics Circle is a gathering of national and international women's voices presenting a fresh and differently experienced viewpoint from the primarily white male dominated film criticism world.
Surreal sequences instead of theme, and pretentious vinaigrettes replace what should be a slice-of-life experience. It is art house, without the art, tedious to watch.
This true story about a transgender man suffers badly from overkill. At two hours, it's too long; the music is too dramatic; the actors try too hard and there's much too much crying.
Prairie Miller talks to Elizabeth Hurley about The Royals, and to Nina Paley, artist, filmmaker, animator, cartoonist and free culture copyright activist.

 

NewsBlaze Writers Of The Month


Popular Stories This Month

newsletter logo

NewsBlaze
Copyright © 2004-2016 NewsBlaze Pty. Ltd.
Use of this website is subject to our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy  | DMCA Notice               Press Room   |    Visit NewsBlaze Mobile Site