Previously nominated for an Oscar four times, Jeff Bridges finally received this long overdue recognition for a role he was born to play.
Crazy Heart tells the story of washed-up country singer Bad Blake, whose best days appear to be behind him. Blake was once a top-selling act but now he can only fill small-town bars and bowling alleys. When he falls for Jean Craddock (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a reporter half his age, he must confront questions about what to do with his musical talent - and his life.
Bridges' performance is so natural that it doesn't seem like acting at all.
Gyllenhaal does an acceptable job of playing a beautiful and vulnerable mother, while Colin Farrell, who plays Blake's protege Tommy Sweet, aptly portrays a smug country musician at the height of his career. His thick Irish accent all but disappears under a Southern drawl, and his singing is surprisingly impressive.
The plot is shot through with cliches, but thankfully the music makes up for it. In particular, the Oscar-winning theme song, The Weary Kind, written by Ryan Bingham and T-Bone Burnett, is a marvellous effort that fits the mood of the film seamlessly.
Crazy Heart is not a film that will please audience members out looking for clever plot, skilful directing or witty dialogue; it is rather a showcase for Bridges' performance, which is wonderful enough to make everything else in the film glitter.
YP rating: 4/5