I wanted to see Crazy Heart starring Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal back when it had come out, or maybe it was just after release to home media — I can’t remember these details in my old age. In any case, it’s been a long while, but I finally had this film at the top of the Netflix queue. Namita had no real interest in seeing this film, and that’s not a big deal — it wasn’t a perfect film by any means, but Jeff Bridges performance partially makes up for it.
In case you haven’t watched this film, Jeff Bridges plays Bad Blake, a broken-down, hard-living, past his prime, country music singer. Bad relationships, many years on the road, and one too many drinks. He seems like a very talented singer/artist, but whatever demons possess him appear to hold him back. You’ll see that he’s a great performing, singing his own songs, but then you’ll see him drinking away his sorrows and pain heavily, even during performances. He eventually meets Jean (Gyllenhaal), an aspiring journalist who gets to know Bad Blake, and slowly brings out the real man. Not being completely unrealistic, dealing with alcholism is not an overnight affair, so there are setbacks, but this film is Bad Blake’s journey of redemption.
I tried to like this film a lot, but the pacing was very slow for me to truly enjoy. The plot was fine, but events transpired so slowly, I found myself bored at many points as the story unfolded. That’s not a good sign. The redeeming quality of this film though was Jeff Bridges performance as Bad Blake. He makes this character interesting and real. Bridges won Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role at the 2010 Academy Awards, and I thought that was well-deserved. Too bad the film itself was so slow.