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:: Crazy Heart

Jeff Bridges certainly deserves the 2010 Golden Globe win and Academy Award nomination for his performance in Crazy Heart as Bad Blake, a washed-up, once famous country singer stuck playing crappy bars and bowling alleys across America’s south.

An alcoholic, Blake sleeps and smokes himself from one gig to the next. He’s broke and refuses to write any new material, instead opting for the original songs that brought him his fame in the first place. Enter Santa Fe journalist Jean Craddock (Maggie Gyllenhaal, also nominated for Best Supporting Actress) who wanted an interview and got something much more.

First time director Scott Cooper adapted the novel by Thomas Cobb and does a commendable job. This is a purely character-driven film with a small cast and simple plot. The intimacy between Blake and Jean is tender and a testament to the hard struggle relationships can be when both people come with baggage and a tumultuous past.

If you enjoyed Walk The Line you’ll like this film. The parallels between the two are obvious (in no way is that a criticism). Bridges' voice even sounds the part as he sings the original soundtrack, and captures the lonely broken heart sound well. Fear not if you don’t like country music – it is not a wall-to-wall musical extravaganza. A low key Colin Farrell also proves he can hold a country tune as Tommy Sweet, Blake’s protégé who has shot to fame and living a much more glamorous life than his former mentor.

It’s a curious film that people need to see for themselves because Crazy Heart is more about feeling what happens on screen, not watching. It doesn’t have you reaching for the tissues or leave you grinning from ear to ear, but it manages to be captivating, occasionally funny and deeply emotional. A must-see.