A faded country music musician is forced to reassess his dysfunctional life during a doomed romance that also inspires him. Jeff Bridges plays Bad Blake in his Academy Award-winning role as best actor, and joined by Maggie Gyllenhaal as they hold together this character piece. The film is set in the Southwest, where Blake’s tour winds through bowling alleys and dive bars, but his heart always leads back to a lady he can’t have.
7 out of 10
Crazy Heart shows us that forgiveness is possible, but redemption is not as easy.
Bridge’s strong performance as a country singer on the back slide of his career is given life in the little details — the jug of urine he empties when he arrives at a gig, the trip to the dark alley mid-set the vomit then returns to perform, and a loneliness that can only come from back country roads and dive motel rooms.
Maggie Gyllenhaal, nominated for best supporting actress, plays the vulnerable, single mother who stumbles upon an attraction and chemistry with Blake — her character interviews Bad Blake for a local paper and a romance is sparked. Their love affair is playful, hopeful, and, of course, bound for failure. Blake is his own worst enemy — a drunk, devout bachelor, and a slob. He knows he wants to change but fails.
In the end, he is forgiven but can never redeem himself, despite his efforts to change. I have found that life is very much like this. As much as we want to set things right, it’s not always possible.