Before going into this film I had been on the George Clooney winning the Oscar for Best Actor bandwagon but after watching Jeff Bridges' performance in "Crazy Heart" last night I have totally changed my mind. This is the male performance of the year.
I went in with my doubts as Bridges has already done a fantastic musician film (The Fabulous Baker Boys) and I wasn't sure that lightening could strike twice. It is also another in the long line of films about a washed up, hard drinking musician. We've seen it all before and I was wondering what more director Scott Cooper (debut film) could bring to the dialogue.
Due to actor Jeff Bridges heartfelt and note perfect performance he makes what could have been a one note film much more than that. He has taken the role and the character and breathed life into it. Bridges becomes the character. He knows his character is pathetic and a mess but he doesn't try to change him. Bad Blake is a talented loser. It is the type of performance that doesn't come around often enough.
Cooper also does a great job in that he doesn't do very much. Let me rephrase that. He is smart enough to leave well enough alone and makes a film that is quiet and slow. Just as you would expect a story like this to be. He lets the story unfold at its own pace.
Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) is the type of country music singer that you thought did no exist anymore. He has been married four times, smokes like a chimney, is never sober, and is booked to play in dives all across the American southwest.
The man is 57-years-old but due to the years of abuse he has the body of a 70-year-old. The sad thing is that he doesn't know any other way. Talent oozes out of him – the many songs he has written are loved by his fans and even other musicians and writers are jealous of his ability to write a good song so easily. He is literally pissng and puking his life away. And he doesn't seem to care or see it.
Suddenly an angel in the form of a young music writer named Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal) appears in his motel doorway and Bad has a reason to live. Pardon the pun but Bad has it bad for her. He falls fast and he falls hard. She feels the same way about him as Jean feels she is finally allowed to see the man behind the music.
But just like life it is not that simple for the two. She has been burnt by men before and has a 4-year-old son, Buddy (Jack Nation), to consider. Bad has another love in his life that is bound to come between them – McClure's Whiskey.