Friday, February 19, 2010

Crazy Heart- He said

I love me some music, and I love me some films, but if you combine the two, I might just be in visual and aural heaven. That’s not to say I dig musicals; I’m talking more about movies that show musicians doing their thing and documenting it. Some of my favorite movies contain this combination such as Spinal Tap, Walk the Line, Walk Hard, Once, even that atrocious Song and Lyrics song is barely passable thanks to the songwriting aspect. Show me a musicians story and I will probably dig it more than the average film except for Ray. Given this bias, take my thoughts on Crazy Heart with this in mind.

The story itself is nothing new; a washed up former legend, this case the ever-cool Bad Blake, played expertly by Jeff “The Dude” Bridges, trying to regain his place in the music world. You see him driving around shirtless with his pants barely on and constantly drunk. And yet everywhere he goes, fugly old chicks are sleeping with him, people buy him whiskey, and they put up with his ridiculous antics. Things change for him when he meets Jean Craddock (Maggie Gyllenhaal) a reporter who makes a strong connection with him. The other storyline is his relationship with Tommy Sweet (Collin Farrell) and Tommy’s bigger fame. This part of the movie feels more real to me than anything else. Any time you teach someone anything, in some way, you want them to be better than you. But the way the relationship is depicted here, you get that Bad Blake is jealous and being immature about it, but in a way you feel for him. I would’ve really liked the movie to have been more about Bad Blake and Tommy, rather than Jean and Blake.

The fact is that the enjoyment I derived from this movie was more from the aspect of songwriting and playing concerts and all the other music related things in the movie. The movie is definitely worth watching, but it does feel a bit cliché in its story arc. As a side note, I do long to live in a world where children are used as plot devices, it’s kind of degrading for children! The soundtrack and Jeff Bridges are the things that carry this movie. I am not a fan of country whatsoever, but darn tootin’ I was tapping my foot ever so politely in the theater while the movie was going on. Once again, it is important to note that Jeff Bridges does a fantastic job here, in a very subtle but moving role. The balance he strikes between an asshole and a walking tragedy is astounding. So basically, go see this movie if you want to see The Dude show off his considerable acting skills. Oh and buy the soundtrack it’s great

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