Crazy Heart is a 2009 film directed by Scott Cooper (it’s his directorial debut) who recently came out with the well-received Hostiles (2017). Crazy heart is especially enjoyable for the fantastic (to say the least) soundtrack and for a masterful interpretation of Jeff Bridges playing an alcoholic country singer at the end of his career, Bad Blake. The rest of the cast is also good: Robert Duvall, Colin Farrell (whom I see everywhere lately), Maggie Gyllenhaal… I can only imagine that Cooper has a lot of important friends if he managed to work with these actors here in his first movie!
What’s Crazy heart about? Bad Blake, a 57-year old country singer with a glorious past, now plays in horrible places in front of a handful of fans and he’s forced to deal with alcoholism and with his battered pride. He’ll manage to get a second chance thanks to the beautiful (she’s also very unlucky in her love stories) Jean Craddock (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and thanks to the the reconciliation with his old friend Tommy Sweet (Colin Farrell).
The plot is nothing original, let’s face it. And the screenplay is perhaps too simplistic and overly-benevolent. But what makes the difference here is the music coupled with an amazing Jeff Bridges, who plays a sort of Lebowski with a great musical talent (unfortunately, wasted): he’s incredible! His accent, his movements both on and off stage, and his voice: he doesn’t sing badly at all! And in general all the music that we hear in the film is really interesting, both for the melodies and in for the lyrics. If it were not for these two elements, Crazy Heart would probably be a forgettable movie, but without a doubt it manages to rise to the level of a worth-watching movie. Maybe the “live” music in the movie sounds a little too clean (it’s clear that the sound that we hear was recorded in studio, which is a shame because the country/blues style should be dirty), but chapeau to the composers and the performers!
In my opinion Crazy Heart offers an hour and forty minutes of quality entertainment. It’s not a masterpiece, but it’s a joy to listen to the music and Jeff Bridges is amazing to watch. Recommended! Ciao!