Monday, March 29, 2010

Crazy Heart

Photo by Nashville Music Buzz

I was curious about the movie after seeing Jeff Bridges win an Oscar for it.  I went into the theater not knowing much about it except that he was a musician and there was country music involved, which made me a bit concerned because I'm not really a fan of country. Surprisingly, the music didn't really distract me from the movie at all.  I even shocked myself by actually LIKING some of the songs. I enjoyed the bluesy piano playing of Wesley Barnes (the uncle of Maggie Gyllenhaal's character, played by Rick Dial).  Robert Duvall's freestyle singing of Live Forever made me think of a John Mayer song.  I could imagine those lyrics not being restricted by a style of music.  There was a Johnny Cash quality to Brand New Angel that Jeff Bridges sang in the bar after getting out of rehab.  I found this old school style of country music to be more blues and more meaningful than the current country crap today that irritates me to no end.  After watching Bad Blake (Bridges) go through the journey that was the movie, I found The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart) to be sad and beautiful.  I didn't want to leave the theater until the song was over.

I can see why Bridges won the Oscar; he was amazing in the role.  I also loved the landscapes in the film.  They reminded me of warm vintage photographs.  The sweeping shot of scenery at the end of the movie made me want to return to the Grand Canyon.  The cinematography was fantastic.  It really emphasized the grittier, darker times in his life with the dingy clothing and shadows leading into a sudden lightening and cleanliness after sobering up. 

I did get a bit grossed out by the relationship between Jean Craddock (Gyllenhaal) and Bad Blake because she was young enough to be his daughter!  But I can see why they were attracted to each other. I chuckled when I saw Colin Farrell as a country singer, but I guess he had a really good speech coach because if I hadn't known he had a heavy Irish accent then I would have been convinced he was an American country singer. 

Track List:
  1. Hold On You - Jeff Bridges
  2. Hello Trouble - Buck Owens
  3. My Baby's Gone - The Louvin Brothers
  4. Somebody Else - Jeff Bridges
  5. I Don't Know - Ryan Bingham
  6. Fallin' & Flyin' - Jeff Bridges
  7. I Don't Know - Jeff Bridges
  8. Once a Gambler - Lighnin' Hopkins
  9. Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way - Waylon Jennings
  10. Fallin' & Flyin' - Colin Farrell, Jeff Bridges
  11. Gone, Gone, Gone - Colin Farrell
  12. If I Needed You - Townes Van Zandt
  13. Reflecting Light - Sam Phillips
  14. Live Forever - Robert Duvall
  15. Brand New Angel - Jeff Bridges
  16. The Weary Kind (Theme from Crazy Heart) - Ryan Bingham

NY Times Review