Monday, February 8, 2010

Crazy Heart

Yesterday my friend Judy and I went to the movies again. This time we saw "Crazy Heart" which is playing in the art venue (a small 75-seat theater), the Pickford Theater, here in Bellingham. We got there early so we would be sure to get in, because we heard that the lines were around the building.

Sure enough, even a half hour before the doors opened, the line had started. There's a reason for this, although most of us in line wondered why it was not playing in any of the major theaters. The movie was made to be a direct-to-video release, and wasn't even scheduled to be in any theaters until it was bought by Fox Searchlight Pictures.

The movie is about Bad Blake, an alcoholic down-and-out country musician played by Jeff Bridges. The story opens with him arriving at a bowling alley where he's scheduled to perform, and he gets out of his old station wagon looking like, well, a serious has-been. From one of the Rotten Tomato reviews:
As Bad Blake steps out of his truck upon his arrival for a bowling-ally gig, Cooper (the director) shows his audience exactly what a mess of a man he has become -- all in less than 20 seconds of screen time.
Anybody who has spent any time with a musician and/or a drunk will see how authentically this portrayal of Bad Blake was captured by Bridges. He's got nothing left in his life except booze and his music, and you can't help but feel he's at the end of the road. And then he meets Jean, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, and although she can see who he is, she gets involved with him anyway. She's got a four-year-old son who Blake begins to care about, too.

Blake wants to clean himself up and tries, but he can't. And then he does something that causes Jean to break up with him, and he retreats into the bottle. The scenes of him with his bottle, staring into the depths of his soul, are so heartfelt and wrenching that I just sat in the movie theater with tears streaming down my face. And then he calls his friend and says he wants to get sober.

Blake goes to AA and finds his way back to life. It's so beautifully done. Bad Blake and his life were the first things I thought about when I woke this morning. It's a movie well worth seeing, and it ends with you believing that Blake will make it. I hope that Bridges wins an Oscar for this performance, because he richly deserves it. Maggie is also nominated for her performance. If you get a chance to see this movie, I hope you do.


  1. I'm honored to be your first commenter today. I want to see that movie also. Anything with, "the dude" has to be good!

  2. I'm sure it's fantastic. I'll have to add it to my list. It's always interesting for me to see how they portray someone's story through the bottle; I can't help but make comparisons. I also really like both actors, and I think she can be somewhat underrated.

  3. Gosh, the world is filled with Bad Blakes I guess. I could have been one myself as I had the wherewithal to do it but got stuck in the Army and they didn't mess around.

    When I was young, really young, I thought all bad girls could be converted to good girls but spun my wheels on that thought too many times and the Army got me out of that mess too. LOL

    I enjoyed the post. It is refreshing to read a review that is not economically motivated.

    Abe Lincoln Blogs

  4. You described the film very well D-Jan. I don't know if I could watch it because it is very close to 'home' if you get my meaning. That story is in my dark cupboard! However, I probably will watch it because I will find it hard not to (LOL). So glad you told me about it.
    Blessings, Star

  5. Jeff Bridges is almost always awesome. I'll put this on my list -- or at least on my rental list -- and start stocking up on tissue.

  6. I would have overlooked this movie if you hadn't reviewed it here. It sounds like an awesome movie to see. Guess I better take some tissues with me when I see it.

  7. Thank you for your honest review of this movie.
    I want to see it for two reasons, I always had a soft spot for Jeff Bridges, and being closeby to the music industry, I have seen and experienced this drinking problem first hand.
    Not a pretty sight, but it always helps to keep an open mind, and when is able to live with the problem and make their life whole, then you have to give credit, where credit is due.
    I'm putting it on my "to see" list, thanks deary !

  8. I'm putting this on my must see list. Thanks,

  9. It's next on our list - for this week! Thanks for the thumbs up.

  10. I haven't heard about this one, but anything with Jeff Bridges has got to be good. Thanks for the review I'll be looking for it.

  11. Once again, I haven't seen this movie yet but I sure plan to go. I didn't know that it was originally going to be a video. That makes it even better. Jeff Bridges is awesome and he seems to have escaped the typical Hollywood image!

  12. I LOVE Jeff Bridge, anyway, so I will see this movie when it comes to our theater. We have been watching for it. If it doesn't get released to the theater here, I will go to the "big city" to see it. His speech after winning the Golden Globe was so moving when he talked about his father, Lloyd Bridges. Thanks for the review.

  13. I hope I get a chance to see this movie! It sounds great! You are the busiest woman I know!!:)

  14. I don't have to see it now... you told me how it ends!

    He was on Letterman last night talking about the movie. Sounds good.

  15. Cool!

    This just hit the screens here in SPain on OScar weekend, quite appropriate considering Bridges' win! ;o)

    I'm really looking forward to seeing it, I know my Dad will probably love it (any country music I've ever heard has been thx to him), but we're waiting on my foot and these damn crutches. Perhaps I'll take him next Friday for father's day!


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