Bad Blake used to be a big name in country music, but now he’s on tour going bar to bar using pick up bands as he goes. Bitter and upset about life and that if former side man Tommy Sweet is now a country giant in his own right, Bad lives up to his name, proving that living like there’s no tomorrow isn’t exclusive to rock stars. When Bad agrees to an interview with San Antonio reporter Jean Craddock the two soon start a relationship that leads Bad into a new phase of his life as he continues to plummet towards rock bottom.
Crazy Heart is a great movie, the kind of movie that makes you care about a character far more than you should for a fictional being. But Bad Blake grabs you, flaws and all. I have no doubt that for this role Jeff Bridges is going to get nominated and probably win the best actor Oscar. Bridges has always been phenomenal, and with Bad Blake he proves that his talent has only gotten better with each movie he’s appeared in. SAG and the Golden Globes have already recognized him, so unless an upset happens the Oscar will be coming his way in a few months.
I really liked that Crazy Heart is not a biopic. Even though biopics are limited to the life of the person they are portraying, too many of them seem to be absolutely formulaic – the rise to the top and struggles to stay there, boy looses girl, family, etc. and ends happily. Crazy Heart didn’t have to do that. Going in as an audience member you are only learning about Bad Blake what director Scott Cooper wants you to learn. Bad used to be in top form with hits on the chart, and when we meet Bad the shine has worn off his star and he’s only remembered by the fans that have aged with him. Booze and divorces have ravaged him and all he’ll complain about is how he can’t get back on top because of Tommy Sweet. This is a film not about a rise to fame, but Bad’s struggle to live the life he has now and find a way not to regain his fame, but the passion that made his music what it was.
What I loved most about this movie was the relationship between Tommy and Bad. For most of the movie Bad does nothing but complain about Tommy or refuse to talk about him at all, but when we finally meet Tommy, Bad has a whole different attitude. He’s envious of Tommy. He knows Tommy deserves to be where he is and wants to be there too; on Tommy’s end he is nothing but gracious and appreciative of Bad and everything Bad did to get him where he is today and it pains him to see what Bad has become and that Bad won’t let him help. Instead of turning into All About Eve the film replaced hatred with a heart and soul that is completely human.
I can’t praise Crazy Heart enough. I know this film will get a few Oscar nods, but I honestly hope with a larger best picture race this year, that perhaps Crazy Heart can manage to grab a best picture nomination as well.
Director & Writer: Scott Cooper
Bad Blake: Jeff Bridges
Jean Craddock: Maggie Gyllenhaal
Tommy Sweet: Colin Farrell