ARCHIVE REVIEW: Crazy Heart

Crazy Heart
Directed by: Scott Cooper
Written by: Scott Cooper (screenplay), Thomas Cobb (novel)
Starring: Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell, and Paul Herman

It’s not uncommon that a performance is the sole interest in a film.  Sometimes an actor or actress digs so deeply into a role that they seem born to play that it overshadows all else in the film.  This, as you can probably tell, is the case with Crazy Heart.

Jeff Bridges’ status as an underdog in Hollywood ended this year when he was awarded the Best Actor Oscar at the Academy Awards.  While the ceremony does often offer up the trophies as a career summation, sometimes the actual performance deserves it as well.  This is also the case with Bridges.  He brings to life washed-up country singer Bad Black so well that his portrayal gives this movie its depth and purpose.

First time director Scott Cooper was wise in letting his actors take a hold of his script, however lousy and mundane it may be.  For all its well intentions, the movie is boring.  By the commercial it looked like a country rehashing of The Wrestler, but Mr. Cooper is no Aronofsky.  As far as debuts go, this is underwhelming.

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Oscar Acting Up Close: Quite a bit Country, not enough Rock ‘N Roll

Image courtesy of Alt. Film Guide

As it stands now, it looks like the four winners for for acting Oscars this weekend will be Jeff Bridges, Sandra Bullock, Christoph Waltz, and Mo’Nique.  One washed-up country singer, one modern country belle, one Jew Hunter, and one mom from Hell- see any similarities?

The acting categories usually go to four very distinct roles from very different styles of acting.  Not so this year.

If you were to look at the supporting categories this year, you’d see that.  Waltz gives his tour de force in four languages layered with charm and menace, while Mo’Nique gives hers in one language, amps up the menace, takes away charm, and adds insanity.   Different styles of acting?  Yes.  But, both of these roles are antagonists.

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