City Different, movie same
Crazy Heart, alcoholic country-singer tale, rated R, Regal DeVargas, 2.5 chiles When a movie offers you a couple of hours with a drunk, he better be a charmer. And even then, it’s a gamble — we’ve all known charming drunks, but a little can go a long way. Fortunately, Crazy Heart has Jeff Bridges, who brings enough charm and veteran talent to the role to almost make it worthwhile.
Bad Blake (Bridges) is an aging country singer now traveling the bumpy downhill road of a washed-up, broken-down career. He plays saloons and bowling alleys in dusty little towns with pickup bands and audiences mostly made up of older fans who remember him from the days when he was a headliner, packing concert venues and selling records. Now he drives alone from gig to gig in a station wagon that’s about as beat up as he is, with a bottle and a cigarette for his only companions and no future but the echoes of his past.
One town is pretty much like another, until he rolls into Santa Fe. There, as a favor to the piano player in the bar where he’s working, he agrees to an interview with the guy’s niece, who writes for the paper. They meet, and a spark is kindled in his pickled old heart and her fresh young one. Romance blossoms between Bad and Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal) despite the chasm in their ages and circumstances. (Hers: she is beautiful, 30ish, grounded, and a single mother. His: see above.) Why does this
Bridges over troubled waters: Jeff Bridges and Robert Duvall