Crazy Heart | Chicago Reader

Crazy Heart

Jeff Bridges finds the perfect vehicle for his lazy charm and bitter irony in the role of Bad Blake, a washed-up country star trying to climb out of the bottle and put his life back together. Once an incisive and lionized songwriter, Blake now drives around the southwest, wandering through his old hits at honky-tonk gigs. An unexpected romance with a newspaper reporter (Maggie Gyllenhaal) offers hope of personal redemption, and a contract writing songs for a stadium-packing country heartthrob (Colin Farrell) promises something of a comeback, but they don't call him Bad Blake for nothing. Robert Duvall, who played a similar character in Bruce Beresford's Tender Mercies (1983), turns up in a supporting role, and the movies make good companion pieces; Bridges can't match the emotional volatility Duvall brought to his ruined singer, but he invests Blake with a humor and intelligence that make him more self-aware in his decline. Scott Cooper directed this 2009 drama, which won Bridges an Oscar.

Credits

Director:

  • Scott Cooper

Cast:

  • Jeff Bridges
  • Maggie Gyllenhaal
  • Robert Duvall
  • Tom Bower
  • Colin Farrell
  • James Keane
  • William Marquez
  • Ryan Bingham
  • Paul Herman
  • Rick Dial
  • Jack Nation

Producers:

  • Judy Cairo
  • Rob Carliner
  • Robert Duvall
  • T Bone Burnett
  • Jeff Bridges
  • Michael A. Simpson
  • Eric Brenner
  • Leslie Belzberg

What others are saying

  • Crazy Heart marks the dawn of 'gericool'

    Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) has seen better days. He's packing some meat around the middle, and the cowboy hat and coffee-tinted Waylon Jennings shades that once signified outlaw cool now hide the reality of too many whiskeys before noon. Centered around this has-been country crooner, Crazy Heart channels a notable genre of American films about that tragic, potent place where troubled musicians long for better days, or a shot at the enchanted spotlight of fame. From Georgia to Tender Mercies, these films unfold with a quiet artistry that captures the sadness of dreams dying hard. — By Felicia Feaster
  • Crazy Heart pulls the strings

    Director Scott Cooper forms the movie equivalent to country music. — By Mark Palermo
  • Better and Better

    'Crazy Heart' has a stock story, but the music and the performances will stick with you — By James DiGiovanna

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