Friday, January 22, 2010

Crazy Heart ****/Oscar for Best Actor/Best Song

I attended a screening of Crazy Heart, with director-writer and producer Scott Cooper in attendance. The story is loosely based on the life of take your pick; Merle Haggard, Kris Kristopherson, Willie Nelson etc. The original idea was for it to be based on Hagarrd's life, except that his estate includes too many wives.

Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) had too many wives, and too much drink. Once on top in country blues, now Bad Blake is playing bowling alleys. This movie is The Wrestler set in the music world. This movie is carried by Jeff Bridges, who gives a performance of his life. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays her part well as his love interest.

Expect Ryan Bingham to win an Oscar for the song The Weary Kind, which binds the movie. Ryan plays in the movie, the leader of the bowling alley pick-up band.

Concert footage is shot at a Toby McGuire concert. The movie piggybacked his concert. Robert Duvall who has a part in the movie, and co-produced it, arranged for the concert footage. In concert was Bridges and Colin Farrell, playing Tommy Sweet, a big name headliner, who started with Bad Blake. T-Bone Burnett was one of the producers, and wrote much of the score.

The Oscar has Jeff's name on it.

The Lebowski references are subtle.



SecondComingOfBast said...

Damn, this does sound like a good flick, depending on the music. Music can make or break a movie, especially when you're dealing with something like country music.

american left history said...

The key here is T-Bone Burnett on the score. T-Bone is the kind of musician that the headliners die to have with them. He did an interview with Terry Gross on NPR recently explaining his role in this film. That is what insures that this is an outstading effort. I think that Jeff Bridges has been waiting all his life to play this kind of part, some of his early roles like "Fat City", etc. led the way.

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K. said...

Crazy Heart a wonderful movie, and have no fears about the soundtrack. The original songs were mostly written by the late Stephen Bruton, although I think that Burnett co-wrote "The Weary Kind." Vocals by Bridges and Colin Farrell (!) are fine and the musicianship -- all crack studio or Austin players -- is impeccable.

Crazy Heart takes all these emotional twists and turns. There are all kinds of surprises, and the characters never turn out to be what they seem on the surface. I agree that this Academy Award for Bridges (it would be his first) written all over it. Not that the competition is especially stiff, but it's the best 2009 film I've seen.

Frank Partisan said...

Pagan: I was surprised how good Bridges does in country blues.

Markin: I loved Fat City.

You are correct about T-Bone.

Megann: I'll link in a few days. I have trouble with my browser.

Belizegial said...

This movie was a big winner at last week's 67th annual Golden Globe awards.

It won the Golden Globe for best song ‘The weary kind’ and also got Jeff Bridges the best actor award.

I will certainly do my best to see it.

Frank Partisan said...

Belizegial: Thank you for visiting.

It's Bridge's best acting, in his life. He said that.

Anonymous said...


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Frank Partisan said...

Anonymous: I linked to your blog.

K: The Weary Kind was written by the guy who led the backup band in the bowling alley.

troutsky said...

Country Western is the soundtrack to late capitalism, all the confusion, heartache and weariness. Working class drunk lonely driving too fast.

Frank Partisan said...

Troutsky: You're objectively correct. Subjectively it's only a movie.

nanc said...

Will have to see this - Haggard is a neighbor to some of our best friends in norcal.

Larry Gambone said...

I like both Bridges and T-bone Burnett, so I will want to take it in for sure...

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