Crazy Heart – Review (Spoiler Free)

Crazy Heart Movie PosterJeff Bridges gives a really great performance here as Bad; a country singer who’s chasing the success levels that he once had, in an industry that he’s growing somewhat disillusioned with. He’s self destructive and can’t seem to sort his life out, but then he meets Jean Craddock (Maggie Gyllenhaal), and she may just be the person who can help him sober up and change his ways in time to save his career.

If the script managed to work as hard as Bridges did here then we could have had a deeply moving tale of redemption, unfortunately though it plays things very simply and safely. This isn’t a move which is necessarily flawed, if handled correctly then this could have really aided the material, but everything is so familiar and predictable that we soon find that it’s only Bridges performance that’s keeping us engaged. It never manages to quite slip into self parody, and don’t worry, there are elements to be enjoyed here, but overall this one falls a little short of expectations, which is a real shame.

Aside from Bridges, Gyllenhaal does a good job in her role but, much like the rest of the cast, she isn’t given enough weighty material to work on in order to produce something memorable. There are a few other famous faces that show up, such as Colin Farrell, and although his character is important to the film, he still feels underutilised and a little meaningless.

So, here’s a film that’s worth catching if your a fan of Jeff Bridges’ work and are looking for another great performance from this talented actor, but otherwise I would advise perhaps skipping this one if given the choice. There are promising moments, but they don’t amount to anything that isn’t merely an echo of better conceived redemption films. We feel that we’ve seen it all before – hell, they even put Jeff Bridges, aka The Dude, in a bowling alley. It was hard fighting Lebowski cravings at that moment I can tell you.

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24 comments

  1. Such a shame since Jeff Bridges is really a fabulous actor and makes his roles come to life. I’ll never forget how he made The Dude in The Big Lebowski turn from just a character into a hero people look up to.

    1. Yeah I completely agree about Jeff Bridges, he’s very talented and as you say, demonstrates that superbly as The Dude. It’s a shame that the rest of this film didn’t rise to meet his standard.

  2. Love the music, but eh towards the film. Bridges is amazing, as always, but it’s still lacking a bit in the emotional aspect of it. It felt like The Wrestler with a guitar.. Without the heft.

    I wish the script was stronger, like you mentioned. Could have been wow.

    1. Yeah, you’re right about it being like The Wrestler – only less powerful. It’s a shame to see this one not reach its potential isn’t it?

  3. Good review Rumsey. Didn’t really care much for the movie, but I did feel like Bridges performance really kept this movie going.

    1. Cheers, Bridges really did save this one. If only he had had a better movie to work with – we could have had a really powerful film here.

  4. I think this movie only works because of Bridges. Boy isn’t he great in this film?!?!?

    1. Glad to say that I agree with you Keith! Jeff Bridges is really fantastic here, but the script lets him down somewhat.

  5. Nice review mate. Had this sitting at home forever but have always found something else I’d rather watch!

    1. Thanks, it was pretty much the same with me. The other day though I wasn’t sent what I wanted by the rental company, and figured I may as well finally give this one a go!

  6. Natalie P · · Reply

    Interesting review 🙂 I’m probably not going to watch this one.

    1. Thanks Natalie! That’s fair enough, it’s not essential viewing by any means 🙂

  7. Nice review. I was glad to see Bridges take a well-deserved Oscar for the role.

    1. Thanks, yeah it’s good to see that he was recognised for the work that he put in here. Very much deserved, although I really like Colin Firth in A Single Man and he was nominated that year as well.

  8. theipc · · Reply

    Good work my friend!

    1. Cheers buddy!

  9. It’s a “Character study”, you know? Its not going to have much of a plot. It’s been awhile since I’ve seen it, but I dont recall being disappointed with it. I liked this one a lot!

    1. I can see why you liked it a lot – it’s a character study as you say, and the lead character is very well performed, so yeah it’s ticking all of those boxes. For me though it didn’t push its character enough. It felt a little slow, as if it was preparing for a large emotional hit, but then never delivered on that. I guess it just fell a little flat for me.

  10. Awesome review! I’ve been waiting for one actually. This movie has peaked my interest for a while and I haven’t had the chance to watch it yet. I think it sounds pretty cool. I’m going to move it up in the my to-watch list 🙂

    1. Thanks! Well let me know what you make of it 😀 It’s certainly worth checking out for Bridges’ performance, even if the rest is unlikely to blow you away.

  11. Hmmm, a real surprise. Still haven’t gotten around to seeing this but it looks like maybe I ignored it for a reason.

    1. Yeah, well it certainly has recommendable elements; Bridges is great, and the music is good – so it’s not all bad. It’s just a shame that most of the film doesn’t live up to its highlights.

  12. Hmmm, I do love me some Jeff Bridges, glad to hear that this is worth checking out. That pic has me thinking about growing out my hair again and dusting off that six string.

    1. Haha, the film’s music may cause you to do just that!

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