"I'm Bad Blake. My tombstone will have my real name on it, until then I'm just going to stay Bad." Words to live by, right?
Jeff Bridges plays Bad Blake, a late 50's country music singer who was once a star but now is struggling to just make it from city to city. He's broke, an alcoholic and nothing close to his former self. We get a full understanding of his current situation only a few minutes into the movie. Bad pulls into his latest gig, an empty bowling alley, gets out of his nearly broken down suburban and emptys his version of a port-a-potty. We realize, it's come to this.
Bad Blake is a stereotypical fallen country star turned alcoholic who thinks he still has the goods. But he's not written stereotypically and Bridges plays the character brilliantly. It's fresh and great to watch him at work. There are some actors that I love watching no matter what they are in, Bridges is one of them. How can you not like a guy who can go from Wild Bill to The Dude and not miss a beat? It's hard to admit this but I stumbled on the movie Stick It, on either TNT or TBS several years ago, and I ended up watching the entire movie because he was in it. Should I seek help? No thanks.
The supporting cast is very good. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays Jean Craddock, a single mom and an up and coming entertainment reporter. One of the better scenes in the movie is a hotel room interview between Bad and Craddock. Robert Duvall is rock solid as Wayne, a bar owner and longtime friend of Bad. If you have seen the movie Tender Mercies, you will understand why Duvall is also a producer for Crazy Heart. Colin Farrell plays Tommy Sweet, Bad's protege turned monster star. You wouldn't think Farrell could pull off playing a country singer but he does.
Speaking of singing, what makes this movie so good is the fact that Bridges can actually play guitar and sing, and he's very good.
The only fault I have with the movie is the ending. To me it wrapped up too neatly, too holly-woody.
Bridges is nominated for Best Actor at this years Oscars (March 7th), and his performance is deserving of a statue. I hope he gets it.