Monday, 8 March 2010

Crazy Heart

The Oscar winning film that ticks all the boxes. Is it the masterpiece some make it out to be? Or is it just a melting pot of what the Academy enjoy?

Jeff Bridges is a fantastic actor. No-one can deny that and his Oscar for this is well deserved but I can't help but say that it's just a bit boring.

The story follows "Bad" as he is at the bottom of his career, trying to get back on track but instead he is falling into an abyss of alcohol and self loathing. His health is starting to fail and he's watching the young bucks take over. All the while, he's falling for younger single mother Maggie Gyllenhaal and starts to change his life around. Sound familiar? There are resonances of The Wrestler here, but also Walk The Line and the rest of these biopics. Except this one isn't real, and that's a major flaw.

The reason why biopics work so well is because fact is stranger than fiction, and more interesting. I couldn't tell you what really happens in this whole film (except that I did it in the last paragraph) but I guess the narrative plays like his character, stumbling from one scene to the next. The only thing driving this forward is the acting. Geeky Gyllenhaal, whom I can't stand, does her bit and Colin Farrell makes a great little cameo but really, there's just no real jeopardy.

Bridges' moment of clarity comes when he has an incident in a shopping mall. Oh my God! Time to get sober. This isn't exactly that rock'n'roll. The country songs are okayish, but much like the genre, it's too same-y and the lyrics almost verge on cringeworthy - "Falling feels like flying for a little while" - wow.

This character has everything that fills a country singer stereotype. He drinks, womanises, has a son somewhere, married lots of times, a 'troubled genius', smokes and sings sad songs. There's nothing here that will blow your mind. The redemption is rather quick and ill prepared, and his jealousy of Tommy Sweet seems petty. Did he learn anything? Sure. But he didn't seem that far gone in the first place really. Just needed a kick up the arse it seems.

Overall, it's worth seeing as a nice, sweet film about a sad, old singer. But really, you'll forget about it in a couple of days and think of it purely as 'that film Jeff Bridges won that Oscar for'. Enjoy it, but it's Oscar fodder a plenty and there's much better stuff you could be spending your money on.

Rating: 7/10

1 comment:

  1. I thought this was a great film, some unbelievable moments throughout, but generally a decent piece.

    Bridges is the most convincing alcoholic I have seen in a movie before.