Crazy Heart

capsule review

Let’s get this out of the way. Washed-up old white guy trying to hold onto his glory days, life is a mess, meets a younger woman who breathes a new sense of life and purpose (and hope) into him….didn’t we see this last year? Well, Crazy Heart is not The Wrestler and Jeff Bridges is not Mickey Rourke. There may be similarities, and they are hard to ignore, that is true, but The Wrestler was about a guy who can’t let go and Crazy Heart is about a guy who is just trying to find a way to hold on. What I love about Crazy Heart is the lack of desperation in Bridges’ performance. He plays his character, a drunk, once-famous musician, with a gentle knowing confidence, but, at the same time, he is utterly aware of his now-defunct place in the world. He doesn’t hate himself until he is forced to, but we never hate him, in fact we find a way to really like this country singer who is a universe unto himself, even though he makes a lot of wrong choices. The supporting performances are equally excellent, as Maggie Gyllenhaal holds her own with Bridges as his love interest and a surprisingly interesting casting choice of Colin Farrell as a country superstar is intriguing and ends up being quite effective. Bridges should take home the Oscar for this performance and it would be well deserved. And even I, an avowed un-fan of country, really enjoyed the music. That’s high praise indeed.