Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Krazy about Crazy Heart

My expectations going into Crazy Heart were fairly low. Maybe it was the couple of friends who didn't like it, maybe I'm just so neck deep in Oscar buzz for shitty things that I'm starting to lower expectations right off the bat, I dunno. My friend Charles says I love any band that sings about drinking, and this movie has a bunch of drinking in it and treats itself like a big old country song, too.

And I'll definitely recommend Crazy Heart. I think it's a film that owns its clichés (conveniently also many of the clichés of country music). For example, when Maggie Gyllenhaal's character said that Jeff Bridges' character is just like "every other man," putting every ounce of twang available to her into that man, it for a minute seemed to me almost embarrassing. But soon after it became my key into the movie, an example well worn cliché, performed as one, that expressed a very true emotion. These kinds of traditional moments are infused into a contemporary world/story that contains alcohol rehab and songwriting royalties, and it's all filled out with well acted and written characters.

I'm not gonna say Bridges deserves an Oscar (anyways, I feel like his Oscar campaign is even more along the lines of "he's pretty good in this, but really, it's his turn" than most Oscar campaigns), but he's pretty much as good as a washed up country singer as you would expect him to be. His scenes with Robert Duvall are especially loose and wonderful. Gylenhaal is good too, as is Colin Farrell, whose character is a reflection of the movie's relative optimism - a modern country star who does his best to respect tradition while working within the Nashville system. It's not revolutionary, I know, but it seems to me both genuine and interesting, and I'll take that any day of the week.

No comments: