My boo and I watched Crazy Heart tonight. We try to watch all of the Oscar noms before the actual ceremony, but didn’t get around to it til now.
I know that everyone said it was like The Wrestler except about country music and that while The Wrestler was better, Jeff “The Dude” Bridges was better/more compelling than Mickey Rourke. Frankly, I don’t think that The Wrestler was better; honestly, I fell asleep during the first hour of it. And no, I never finished it. I will eventually, I promise.
Maybe it comes from the fact that I’ve spent time on the road with a bunch of musicians, traveling around in a beat-up, smelly van. And not just any musicians, but country musicians. Let me tell you, if you’re not familiar with the current state of country music, that it’s nothing even resembling what “country” music should sound like. Acts like the fictional Bad Blake or Tommy Sweet are hard to find out there, and when you do find them, it’s usually in some run-down, out of the way hole in the wall where only the lonely and depressed can find solace.
I’m not a country music purist, by any stretch of the imagination. While I grew up with parents who broadened my musical horizons and exposed me to music like Hank Sr. and Waylon as well as all sorts of Southern gospel music, I never really latched on to country music. I think most of that was because of my disinterest in most over-produced stuff, not to mention a rebellion against where I’m from.
Crazy Heart features some great music by T Bone Burnett (who did the O Brother soundtrack and oversaw the music for The Big Lebowski and Walk The Line), and a solid, solid, solid performance by Jeff Bridges as an old, road-tired, alcoholic country musician traveling the Southwest. It’s fairly typical of your average redemption story, but for some reason it hits more chords with me (pardon the musical pun!). I tend to read everything ever on Wikipedia, but I refused to read up on this movie. As a result, I honestly didn’t know how the movie was going to end; I figured there were several option: one, he winds up dying; two, he continues life, drinking himself into a stupor and playing in dive bars; or three, he gets his act together.
All of them could have happened, and, honestly, I would have been okay with any of the endings. I’m not telling which one it was, of course, but it was ultimately satisfying.
Jeff Bridges was, of course, awesome. Honestly, The Dude can do little wrong in my book. Maggie Gyllenhaal was surprisingly good (I say that, even though I liked her in The Dark Knight and love-love-loved her in Secretary), and Colin Farrell was a delight in his few scenes. Also, cue an awesome cameo from Robert Duvall, and you got yourself a gumbo!
Overall, I enjoyed the ride through country music land, and am going to download the soundtrack as soon as possible.