Jeff Bridges is a fantastic actor is all I have to say after watching this film. Crazy Heart, directed and adapted-for-the-screen by Scott Cooper, is a film revolving around an alcoholic country singer who tries to change his ways played by Jeff Bridges. Jeff Bridges’ love interest is played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, who I should also point out was outstanding. The movie has a fairly straight-forward story with an absolutely sweet and touching final scene. The music in this film, which was written in collaboration by Stephen Bruton, T Bone Burnett, and Ryan Bingham, is absolutely moving and makes Bridges’ character come through to the audience in such an elegant fashion.
The cast of this film is surprisingly small with only five characters that really stick in the viewer’s mind after they have watched the film. And that is not even a criticism as these characters are very compelling and give this film such a strong backbone. Most notably is Jeff Bridges who is on screen for– I’d predict– around 90 percent of the film. Bridges puts so much effort into this character that the viewer really connects with this character and feels down when the character is down and high when the character is high. This does subsequently make the viewer feel low for the majority of the film. Bridges also has amazing screen chemistry with his love interest, played by Maggie Gyllenhaal, who in herself is a very interesting character, but who is also an extremely intelligent character who the audience also has an easy time connecting with. Gyllenhaal’s on screen son, played by child actor Jack Nation, may not be the greatest actor, but this can be overlooked as he’s almost always always supported by either Bridges or Gyllenhaal who are such strong actors. Colin Farrell and Robert Duvall also play rather small roles in this film, but each of them are likeable in their own sense and serve their purpose: to help the audience connect with and understand Bridges’ character.
The story itself is very straight-forward but offers a few bumps and bruises here and then, but nothing truly new i served. But that is not to say that the screenplay isn’t intense and at times heart-breaking or tear-jerking. The first ten minutes or so is spent on introducing Bridges’ character and his circumstances, but there is no connection with the character established here, as it is a very stale and flavorless first ten minutes that sets the film up to be a tired and bored music-film. But as a viewer will quickly learn… That is what the movie exactly isn’t. The music in this film also helps bring the characters and emotions to life. For every major emotion Bridges’ character goes through there is a beautiful song that helps him communicate this emotion much easier to the audience. The music is so beautiful and emotional that it can carry scenes, which it occasionally does do too. The film also offers a few absolutely stunning shots of Tennessee– I think it is– wilderness and landscape that also has a little nuance of emotion. In simpler words: this film knows how to get the audience onboard with the characters and it so very well and executes this so flawlessly and refreshingly.
This film is– had it not been for the mildly uncreative screenplay– one of the best films I have ever seen. The film is visually and audibly beautiful and every little aspect of the film is so beautifully crafted that the audience can do nothing but be brought along for this emotional ride. The acting in this film is what carries it though. Two jaw-droppingly strong portrayals by Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal who also have absolutely wonderful and tangible screen chemistry. This is a film that knows what it’s doing and does it well, and manages to get the audience to go through a wonderful adventure.
Best Aspect- Jeff Bridges
Worst Aspect- First 10 minutes