Get us in your inbox

Crazy Heart

  • Film
  • 3 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

3 out of 5 stars

Jeff Bridges, for all his glorious achievements, still hasn’t been celebrated enough. A technical actor (remember Starman?) who manages to make every gesture a perfect one, he’s been paired with difficult material over a meandering career and always succeeded. So if this better-than-average country-singer tale does the trick come Oscar time, here’s someone who won’t complain. “Bad” Blake, much like Bridges’s immortal Dude, is belly-acting: gutsy and, well, big-gutted. The number of times Blake is seen emerging from a pickup truck with his belt unfastened is almost a running joke. Rambling through a series of Texas bars and vomiting behind them, Blake is haunted by a musical protg who’s become a huge star (Farrell). His own glory days are long behind him.

Crazy Heart pairs this fascinating private strummer with a curious journalist (Gyllenhaal), who soon shares with him a bed and the affections of her daddyless young son. For the movie’s first hour, you perk up at the vibrations of sympathetic emotions, pitched at a quiet frequency not heard since Tender Mercies. (The appearance of Robert Duvall is a bonus.) Upsettingly, though, someone’s decided that such intimate moments are not enough for a night of entertainment, so a manufactured kid-in-jeopardy climax and Blake’s rehab stint blow the mood. Until then, this is great American acting.—Joshua Rothkopf

Now playing. Find showtimes

Watch the trailer

More new Film reviews

You may also like
You may also like