Okay a little note before I start the review, I am writing this on March 7th 2010 which means the Oscars hasn't happened yet and I don't know if Jeff Bridges won, or if this movie won anything else for that matter. So do try to bear with me on the limitations of this review.
You know... I'm watching this movie and I like it but I have no idea what the fuck the title means. What the hell does Crazy Heart relate to anything this movie is about? Aren't you sick and tired of watching movies that has some random title that makes no sense to the film? But anyway... yeah this movie was amazing!
Crazy Heart is about Bad Blake, a country singer who used to be one of the best country singer in the world but has become a washed up has been. This guy's life sucks. He has been reduced to performing in bars and howling alleys while his backstabbing protege whom he coached his making millions a day. We follow this guy's story as he takes one blow after another.
Wow was Jeff Bridges fantastic in this. Keep in mind that I'm writing this review before the Oscars so if he has won it by now, I am totally all for it. He plays a character who was at one time at the top of the world but crashed and burned and has pretty much just given up on living. There was something that was authentically pathetic about his character that resonated with me for some reason.
His character is pretty much the same as Mickey Rourke's character from The Wrestler only where Mickey Rourke shined because of he portrayed the physical abuse of his character, Jeff Bridges shines because he captures the torture of the soul of a man who is washed up, broke, alcoholic and has lost the reason to pick himself up again. And while it was hard watching his character be who he is, you can't help but root for this guy because deep down inside, he is a good man who does deserve better. He stirs hope in us by abandoning his.
The only thing more beautiful than Jeff Bridges performance is the title song of the movie, The Weary Kind. When I heard it the first time, I wasn't too crazy about it. But after watching the movie and hearing it again, it has a whole bigger impact on you once you know about Jeff Bridge's character because this song is the very definition of everything his character feels. The Weary Kind is like a powerful sonnet that says everything about struggle, patience, perseverance, heartbreak and hope in a beautifully orchestrated country song.
And the other songs in the movie is pretty good to. They are all good ole fashion country songs that might not appeal to most Malaysians but I found them to be really catchy and lighthearted. The score is fantastic, Ryan Bingham really did a great job with the music.
My God what the hell happened to Collin Farrel?! The dude used to be some ignorant asshole but I'm starting to have an uncomfortably strong liking towards him. This dude can really act! I loved him in In Bruges, I loved him in Ondine, and I love him in this. Who knew Colin Farrel could pass off as a redneck? And a good looking redneck at that! His character is suppose to be that two dimensional character that everyone hates but he added a lot of depth to it. He held a strong, believable Southern accent the whole way through and he sang pretty good to.
I really don't get why Maggie Gyllenhaal is nominated for an Oscar for this. It's not that she wasn't good, there just wasn't anything special about her character. It was like watching Maggie Gyllenhaal play Maggie Gyllenhaal. And comparing her work here with that of Jeff Bridges and Collin Farrel, she doesn't leave much of an impression.
The movie also had some fantastic cinematography. The shots of the American desert roads and the scenery shots were really gorgeous to look at. Especially the ending scene of the film that was shot under such a beautiful sunset scenery.
But do understand that Crazy Heart isn't a touching story or a trial from tribulations film. It's a well made, simple, down-to-earth movie about hope and love with phenomenal performances and a great soundtrack.