Okay, so this is one the Academy got right. Jeff Bridges deserved his win for this role, and he took a movie that I wasn’t to0 keen on seeing and made it one of the better ones I’ve seen all year.
I should preface somewhat by disclosing that I loathe, absolutely loathe, country music. Growing up, Garth Brooks and Celine Dion were the only people I knew of who made “music” (okay, well them, Reba McIntire – and if I’m spelling her name wrong, I don’t care enough to fix it, this is how much I loathe her music – the Spice Girls and the Backstreet Boys) because they were the only “artists” my family listened to. Is it any wonder that I didn’t even like music until I was nearly fifteen? Anyway, enter real artists like Johnny Cash, or Ryan Adams, that is the kind of country music that I can listen to. But I don’t even want to call them country, I tend to lead towards calling them folk, simply because even though Cash practically invented the genre, all those came after him bastardized it so badly that it’s now not only dead, it’s a fickin’ brain suckin’ zombie of what it once was. (Country music that is.) In other words, let’s just write songs that sell cowboy hats, boots, and pick-up trucks.
In “Crazy Heart” Jeff Bridges plays a character who creates what he likes to call (and I agree with) “Real Country Music.” And you know what? That music is really bloody well good. The soundtrack to this movie is fantastic and serves the film and its characters extremely well. Everything about the movie from the writing, to the directing, to the acting, is wonderfully understated and makes for a refreshing breath of air in a year of movies that has been dominated by films like “Avatar”, “The Hurt Locker”, “Inglorious Basterds” and “Paranormal Activity”. Everything in this movie clicks and makes for a very entertaining and heartfelt experience.