There’s no tear in the beer of this week’s Movies You Have Not Seen But Should, starring Jeff Bridges.
Welcome back to Movies You Have Not Seen But Should. This week we will look at the 2009 drama Crazy Heart. The film stars Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Collin Farrell, and Robert Duvall.
The film is based on a 1987 novel by the same name written by Thomas Cobb. The novel’s main character was based in part on real life country singer Hank Thompson. The main character of the film was an old country singer/songwriter by the name of Otis “Bad” Blake (played by Bridges). At the beginning of the movie, this once famous singer is now playing in bars across the southwestern part of the United States. He has four failed marriages (although it could allegedly be five). He has a son with whom he has had no contact for twenty-four years. He is alone with just his guitar and an old ’78 Suburban.
Blake runs into Jean Craddock (played by Gyllenhaal). Jean is a young journalist looking for a big story. She also has a story to tell herself, being a divorced single mom of a young boy named Buddy. She and Blake develop a relationship after she interviews him. Blake sees this as a reason to get his life together. He reconnects with his former mentee and now country music star Tommy Sweet (played by Farrell) and agrees to be the opening act on one of Tommy’s concerts. Tommy also convinces Blake that if he takes up songwriting again, he would record some of Blake’s songs.
Blake seems to be developing the family he never had as well as getting his professional career back. However, his drinking gets the best of him again. It costs him gigs, his health and unfortunately his relationship with Jean. Realizing what he has to lose, Blake knows he has to get clean. Does he get clean? Does he write that hit song? What happens between him and Jean? You’ll have to watch to find out.
As well as having a role in the film as Blake’s old friend Wayne, Robert Duvall is also one of the producers of the film. Another producer is T Bone Burnett, who is a famous musician, songwriter and music producer in his own right. The film debuted at the Santa Fe Film Festival on December 6, 2009. It went on to have a limited release in theaters on December 16, 2009. It was a hit with critics as it received a 91% freshness rating on Rotten Tomatoes. It also was an award winning film. It won the Golden Globe for Best Original Song for “The Weary Kind”, and Jeff Bridges won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Drama. At the Academy Awards, “The Weary Kind” won the Oscar for Best Original Song and Bridges won the Oscar for Best Actor. Maggie Gyllenhaal received a nomination for Best Supporting Actress. The film grossed over $47 million with a budget of only $7 million.
Crazy Heart is available on Blu-Ray, DVD and Amazon Instant Streaming. If you’re a fan of Jeff Bridges, you’ll enjoy this film. It’s one of those films that tells a hard story but it’s worth taking the time to watch. You get drawn into the story with the performances of the actors and actresses. It’s one that you may not have seen, but you should.