Crazy Heart opens January 22

Crazy Heart stole mine!

I went into Crazy Heart expecting the same old fall from grace elevated Hollywood story and was very surprised to find it was quite the contrary. Fox Searchlight combines four-time Academy Award nominee Jeff Bridges with writer/director Scott Cooper along with a star-studded cast for the release of Crazy Heart.

Yes, Jeff Bridges stars as Bad Blake who’s 57, tired, broke, an incessant smoker, excessive drinker, washed up and run down, sleeping in seedy motels, but still possesses a charming scratchy demeanor that lands him in one-night stands with 50-year-old groupies, in between one unremarkable destination after another on the road to nowhere.  Bad Blake has quite a sordid past of fame and loss, of multiple marriages; needless to say, he’s lived fast and hard, he’s never been famous for county charm and it’s taken its toll, thrusting him toward rock bottom. Bad Blake’s been drunk most of his life and he’s lost a lot along the way. But he catches a few breaks.

Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Jean, a small town journalist who requests an interview with Bad Blake while he’s playing a gig in Santa Fe. One thing leads to another with twists and turns that you’ll have to see for yourself.

Colin Farrell plays Tommy Sweet, the still standing success story from the days when Bad Blake gave Tommy his start in the music business. “Sweet” is sweet and kind and so much more than just a pretty face.

Robert Duvall plays Wayne, a soft spoken introspective recovering alcoholic that is there for Bad Blake at the right time and in the right place.

Crazy Heart isn’t some predictable movie; it’s well written and well acted by all.  What surprised me is that all these guys can actually sing, and they sing exceedingly well!  It was the perfect Triple Play given the fact that writer-director Scott Cooper (1990-1997) was a two-time Major League Baseball All-Star third baseman for the Boston Red Sox and played for the Kansas City Royals and the St. Louis Cardinals!  Crazy Heart is funny, it’s sad; and the star studded cast all achieved what they deserved and not necessarily what we hoped for, but what was right for the story line.

*Congratulations to Jeff Bridges for his recent acknowledgment at the 2010 67th Golden Globe Awards for Best Actor in the category of drama for Crazy Heart.

Heidi Nast

Heidi Nast is the Executive Director of the Arts Engagement Foundation of Kansas City and Co-Founder of KC Studio Magazine.

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