CRAZY HEART // “Crazy Heart” is a one of a kind drama, presenting Jeff Bridges in his best role to date as fading country star Bad Blake. Blake is an alcoholic, whose been married four times and is on the road again at the age of 57. Once a huge star in the country scene, he’s now playing tiny bars and bowling alleys while his protege Tommy Sweet (Colin Farrell) is raking in the money and the fans. Its on the road that Blake meets aspiring music journalist Jean Craddock, played expertly by Maggie Gyllenhaal, in one of the first roles I actually really liked her in. Starting up a relationship with the much older singer-songwriter, their new found relationship is put to the test by Blake’s drinking. The chemistry between Bridges and Gyllenhaal is undeniable and carries this film much further than expected. Worthy of his Academy Award, Bridges dominates every scene he encounters and becomes this country legend, as he sings the songs and comes off completely authentic in the role. The music in the film, as well, is award worthy, with Ryan Bingham and T Bone Burnett involved with writing and producing most of the music, including the Oscar winning “The Weary Kind”, which progressed throughout the film and concludes with the recorded song by Bingham in the credits, leaving the viewer completely satisfied. Going against the grain, the emotions in “Crazy Heart” are deeply rooted and engulf the audience from start to finish, delivering a film that every music lover, whether a country music aficionado or not, can grab hold of.

[Directed by Scott Cooper] [R] [112 min] [16 December 2009]   09fourhalf-stars

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