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Review: Crazy Heart

It was shocking to read that Jeff Bridges of The Big Lebowski, Bad Company, The Contender, The Fisher King, and countless other great films has received not a single Oscar for his efforts. That will change this year.

Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) has been around the bend a few times. Most men stop the circuit of hard drinking and crashing in cheap motels, but Blake is more than comfortable with it. He performs at a club, bar, what have you and then he retires to a handful of drinks.

The drink has consumed more than just his liver though, it's draining his talent. Gigs are hard to come by for Blake, too often he has had to play to audiences of apathetic bowling fans.

Rewarding Bridges for his performance as Bad Blake in Crazy Heart is not a collective award, it is for the best performance of the year. Sure, the redemptive angle of a hard-luck veteran has been played out before and often, but Bad Blake is one of those characters that when you look into the man's eyes years worth of pain, regret, and weariness phase themselves into your inner psyche. Bridges completely immerses himself into Bad.

Now that's not to say that Bridges is the sole interest of the film, just the biggest. Jean Craddock (Maggie Gyllenhaal) is one of the many surprises of this film. In Jean, Blake sees a reflection of hurt and lost opportunity. A single mother whose chance meeting with Blake could set her up for at least a little while longer. Blake knows immediately that there is something more than an interview to be had and he knows he can't let her go out that door without knowing he will see her again.

Colin Farrell, another pleasant surprise, actually pulled off a southern accent and is enjoyable as Bridge's former protege and current country superstar. The feud between the singers never reaches that scripted back-stabbing shenanigans that is seen so often.

Admittedly, country music does not really appeal to me, wait scratch that, I do not like country music at all. And it should attest to Jeff Bridges talent that I enjoyed Crazy Heart so much.

The story goes along at mostly the same pace as The Wrestler, but the thing is you don't care that you've seen this before. It is a chance to watch one of the greatest actors ever occupy the screen. Jeff Bridges has to been seen in Crazy Heart. It's a fine character study.


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