7.3/10
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240 user 276 critic

Crazy Heart (2009)

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A faded country music musician is forced to reassess his dysfunctional life during a doomed romance that also inspires him.

Director:

Scott Cooper

Writers:

Scott Cooper, Thomas Cobb (novel)
Won 2 Oscars. Another 37 wins & 32 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Jeff Bridges ... Bad Blake
James Keane ... Manager
Anna Felix Anna Felix ... Barmaid
Paul Herman ... Jack Greene
Tom Bower ... Bill Wilson
Ryan Bingham ... Tony
Beth Grant ... Jo Ann
Rick Dial Rick Dial ... Wesley Barnes
Maggie Gyllenhaal ... Jean Craddock
Debrianna Mansini ... Ann
Jerry Handy Jerry Handy ... Cowboy (as Jerry Hardy)
Jack Nation Jack Nation ... Buddy
Ryil Adamson ... Ralphie
J. Michael Oliva ... Bear (as J. Michael 'Yak' Oliva)
David Manzanares ... Nick
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Storyline

Bad Blake is a broken-down, hard-living country music singer who's had way too many marriages, far too many years on the road and one too many drinks way too many times. And yet, Bad can't help but reach for salvation with the help of Jean, a journalist who discovers the real man behind the musician. Written by Fox Searclight Pictures

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The harder the life, the sweeter the song.

Genres:

Drama | Music | Romance

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for language and brief sexuality | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Spanish

Release Date:

5 February 2010 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Loco corazón See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$7,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$82,664, 20 December 2009, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$39,462,438, 30 May 2010
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Before acting, Colin Farrell was a professional country line dancer and instructor in Dublin. See more »

Goofs

As Bad leaves in his truck after his talk with Sweet in the parking lot. The drivers side rear-view mirror is folded in. This probably to avoid having the camera crew being seen in the mirror. See more »

Quotes

Bad Blake: Thought you weren't gonnashow.
Bad Blake: Son, I've played sick, drunk, divorced, and on the run. Bad Blake hasn't missed a goddamn show in his whole fucking life.
See more »

Connections

Featured in Late Show with David Letterman: Episode #17.63 (2009) See more »

Soundtracks

Color of the Blues
(1958)
Written by George Jones and Lawton Williams
Performed by George Jones
Courtesy of Gusto Records, Inc.
See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
You know you're in a state when you hand-pour your pee on a bowling alley.
16 January 2010 | by thesubstreamSee all my reviews

There's a shot in a scene near the beginning of Scott Cooper's Crazy Heart that's so jarring that it has to have been a choice, but I can't for the life of me unpack what it means. Jeff Bridges plays forgotten country legend Bad Blake, drunk and down on his luck, a one-time great forced to play tiny New Mexico bars for tiny over-the-hill crowds. As he cruises into town in his rusty Suburban and empties out his pee bottle, he realizes that his manager has booked him to play in a bowling alley, where he begins to drink prior to the show. There's a shot of him at the bar that is an exact visual echo of Bridge's most famous character of recent years, the similarly booze-addled Dude from The Big Lebowski, famously bellying up to a bowling alley bar, talking to a cowboy. It's odd and unmistakable, as Bridges' the Dude in the Cohen Bros. first-cult-then-full-blown classic dopey caper movie has become iconic, his sozzled, affronted complaints as firmly lodged in the minds of movie folk as Travis Bickle's spookyisms or the monologue by the guy in Network who got mad and told everybody to go yell out the window.

Where the Dude's drunk and drugged wanderings seemed blessed, though, by a cinematic ray of Private Eye light that kept him safe through to the end of his caper, Bridges' Bad Blake is broken down, on the way out. A member of his backing band that he had mentored, Tommy Sweet (Colin Farrell), has moved on to find incredible success on his own and exists, but is unwilling to do an album of duets that Blake and his lizard-skin booted agent need to pull his career out of the toilet. He meets a young journalist (Maggie Gyllenhaal) who herself has had a rough patch and their bruised romance sees Blake back on some kind of road to life.

Bridges inhabits the role as thoroughly as is seemingly possible - he quite simply is Bad Blake. Much of the music (composed by T-Bone Burnett, who among other things did the music for the Coens' O Brother, Where Art Thou?) Bridges sings himself and he's got a not-half-bad country voice, but it's in the busted-boot gait and whisky-sipping slouch that Bridges carves the character out. The rest of the film is almost as good as he is. Cooper's script has a habit of freely dipping into the well of cliché - the whisky soaked forgotten crooner lost in the shadow of inauthentic "new country", salvation and sobriety at the feet of a sad single mother who doesn't want to be hurt again - but then at the last minute, swerving away into if not original then certainly less clichéd territory. Tommy Sweet, when he makes his entrance into the story, is not half the villain the first half of the film would have you believe, and Gyllenhaal's single mom is something a hair's breadth more interesting than a sucker for punishment, loyal to a fault. The film could have been a disaster, and at times it's half-way there, but there are enough smart choices in the script and good performances from interesting actors that the film ends up (for the most part) overcoming its own flaws.

It does country well, and it's as authentic as a film can be to a genre of music (like punk, or metal, or rap) that is itself so utterly cliché ridden that arguments over whether so-and-so is "real country" are a common fervent pastime for fans and the artists themselves. Bad Blake seems as much of a real, breathing human being as Merle Haggard or Waylon Jennings, which is obviously somewhat of a back-handed compliment. Crazy Heart's story is an old one: a busted down, down and out nobody screws up, hits bottom, and becomes somebody again. We've seen it before, but it has enough soul and Bridges' Blake has enough human hitch in his step, that it manages to be moving, if not refreshing. 7/10


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