Crazy Heart http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1263670/
A character drama with hint of romance about a washed up alcoholic old-school country/western singer wandering the valley on the other side of the mountain of greatness. He's touring on the bowling-alley circuit, barely making enough to cover the shit hotels he stays in and keep the booze flowing. Then he meets a young reporter and her son.
Some flicks I'm generally not in the mood to watch so I don't make effort to see them. That is, I don't seek them out, I don't make a point of renting them, I don't tell TiVo to grab 'em, I don't put them on my must-see list. This was one of them. I'd heard how good it is, that it was award winning. I like the cast, they're good actors, and I admire that the musical production was by T-Bone Burnett. Despite all it had going for it I felt able to appreciate that the film exists from afar.
However, the other night I sat down to grab a quick snack and see what was on TV because I didn't feel like committing myself to watching a movie. Crazy Heart just happened to be starting to play on its premium channel rotation. There was nothing else on so I figured what the heck, I'll give it a watch while I snacked and see what the buzz was about. And, wouldn't you know, the story sucked me right in and I ended up watching it to the end.
Wow. As an actor Bridges just has this ability to draw the viewer in to his performance. The guy has just gotten better over the years. Despite the unavoidable "The Dude Abides" reaction that I get anytime I see him in a movie, that quickly passed as Bridges definitely wasn't The Dude in any way. Right away he was "Bad Blake" and we are in Bad Blake's sad world.
The story is a window on an interesting developmental period of Blake's life, even though at 57 his seemed dead-ended already. Amazing emotional performances out of Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal sell the story. The post-production sound was spot-on. The music was good. Plus, Bridges and Colin Farrell's vocals were their own, which makes their performances that much more amazing and appreciable.
This is a good, very well put-together film with solid performances, good music, and a story that gets the viewer to care. Even though I still probably wouldn't put it on my must-see list, it is a good movie made for those of us adults who, in our advancing years and varying-degrees of wisdom born of experience can appreciate. It is a worthy film to watch at some point, especially if you're totally stuck for what to watch on a night you're prepared to just be laid back.