Click on the headline to link to a "YouTube" film clip of the movie trailer for "Crazy Hearts".
Crazy Hearts, starring Jeff Bridges, Fox Searchlight, 2009
This one is easy. See it. Why? Well, if for no other reason that Jeff Bridges finally won an Academy Award for his lead role as Bad Blake in it, a role that he has been waiting for about forty years to cash in on. Every since I first saw Bridges as Duane in the screen version of Larry MacMurtry’s great novel of the New West, “The Last Picture Show”, I have known that he had the righteous, good-hearted, hard-drinking, devil-take-the-hinter post, sexually energetic and troubled “old geezer” that he personifies in the Blake role in him. He has done other fine performances but there is something just a little extra that he brings to that good-ole-boy role, young or old.
And here is the kicker. As most of those in America who have being paying attention in the lead-up to the Oscars know this film is about an alcoholic, back roads traveling, down on his luck, hard living country singer, an “outlaw” singer for sure. But also a man in desperate need of either a good woman or a good twelve step program, or both. That premise drives the action and the music. The Blake character could be based on about twelve guys from the 1970s with that fistful of “outlaw cred” from Waylon Jennings to Townes Van Zandt (whose “If I Needed You” is part of the soundtrack here). And that is my final point. Back in those days I had what I call my “country moment”. I gravitated toward the “outlaw country” sound, especially that of Townes Van Zandt, from my permanent berth deep in the blues, city and country, and to a lesser extent, folk. The Jeff Bridges/Bad Blake character is just the cinematic expression of that moment for me. Kudos.