As much as I like country music, there’s no way I’d want my life to mirror a country song. (Related side note: wondering which song fits your life best? Check out Mad’s awesome infographic!! I helped!).There’s a sense of inevitability in country music – you’re never going to find a happy ending to a sad country song.
Crazy Heart is the sad country song of Bad Blake, played by Jeff Bridges, telling the story of a man forced to come to terms with a lifetime of bad decisions. And really, when you make your living composing ballads about rough and rowdy ways, why should a cowboy be expected to settle down?
Bridges won an Oscar for his performance, and Bad’s sins certainly are firmly established in Bridges’ lined face and sagging belly. It’s almost a dark coda to the Dude of the Big Lebowski, if being irresponsible finally caught up to him. Colin Farrell, who suffered through some blockbuster humdingers in the past few years, was a real revelation as Bad’s successful, polished protegee Tommy Sweet. Both actors do their own singing, actually to the benefit of the soundtrack.
The film nicely captures the wideness of the American South while contrasting it with the claustrophobic nature of Bad’s hotel room benders. You see the real beauty in the open road, but its temptations too. Tommy Sweet drinks bottled water and plays sold-out stadiums; Bad chugs whiskey and plays bowling alleys.
Maggie Gyllenhaal plays the single mother who trusts Bad too early and almost becomes Mrs. Blake the sixth. The May-December redemptive storyline is a bit pat, even with Gyllenhaal and Bridges playing nicely against each other.
Crazy Heart is not an easy movie to watch. Can a man like Bad Blake change? As Robert Duvall’s character tells Bad, when it comes to doing the right thing, “It’s never too late, son.”
Check out Ryan Bingham, a great country songwriter who produced the soundtrack, sing the theme song, “The Weary Kind”:[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NIJTU9iY2iA&feature=related]