In New York City's Harlem circa 1987, an overweight, abused, illiterate teen who is pregnant with her second child is invited to enroll in an alternative school in hopes that her life can head in a new direction.
The story of the life and career of the legendary rhythm and blues musician Ray Charles, from his humble beginnings in the South, where he went blind at age seven, to his meteoric rise to stardom during the 1950s and 1960s.
A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974, what some consider, "the artistic crime of the century."
Jean François Heckel,
In 1959, Truman Capote learns of the murder of a Kansas family and decides to write a book about the case. While researching for his novel In Cold Blood, Capote forms a relationship with one of the killers, Perry Smith, who is on death row.
Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Clifton Collins Jr.,
Bad Blake is a broken-down, hard-living country music singer who's had way too many marriages, far too many years on the road and one too many drinks way too many times. And yet, Bad can't help but reach for salvation with the help of Jean, a journalist who discovers the real man behind the musician. Written by
Fox Searclight Pictures
Here is the film that the ridiculously talented Jeff Bridges finally won an Oscar for, and deservedly so. His performance is the gleaming highlight of this film in the best way possible. He is playing washed up country singer Bad Blake, trying to overcome alcoholism and a dying career. The story is very touching, and how could you expect anything less than incredible from a character study piloted by Jeff Bridges. The film has a very organized focus on Bridges' character but he is also backed by a fantastic supporting cast. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays an aspiring reporter who interviews Blake, only to fall in love with him shortly after. Her performance is equally touching and feels so real alongside Bridges. Colin Farrell plays Tommy Sweet, an old friendship of Bad Blake's that went sour somewhere along the line. And then of course there is the small yet significant role of Bad Blake's long time old fishing buddy Wayne, played by the masterful Robert Duvall. The limited number of scenes between Bridges and Duvall are some of the best and most sincere of the movie. Crazy Heart is a great film to watch in order to see fantastic actors do what they do best... act.
The character development in Crazy Heart embodies the film's strong suit, which is the wonderful acting ability of the cast. There is not a moment when you don't believe in these characters and you truly feel that they are sincere and real. It is also just so incredibly satisfying to watch legends like Bridges and Duvall act side by side in beautiful and perfectly fitting roles such as these. The story of Bad Blake itself is very interesting, but the characters are where the heart and soul of the film lay. The plot leaves something to be desired, but it doesn't fault the movie as much as it could when you have such great actors filling the roles of such articulated characters. Admittedly, the film drags a bit towards the middle and the climax of the film doesn't hit as hard as I would have liked, but it leads into a cathartic and slightly cheesy ending, which leaves you wanting more, but emotionally satisfying nonetheless.
Now, I am not a fan of country music at all, but in the context of this film I absolutely loved it. It is so beautiful and touching that it would almost be a crime to say you didn't like the music while watching its fitting place in this film. And as if I haven't praised the actors in this film enough, I have to give even more kudos to Bridges and Farrell who took voice lessons to sing their own songs in the film, and holy crap do they sound amazing. You would think Jeff Bridges had been a country singer all his life. If you're not a fan of country music I wouldn't recommend listening to the music before you see the movie. But after you see just how perfect the soundtrack fits the film you will love the music. The music makes this film all the more sincere and is one of the only contexts I will ever enjoy country music.
Crazy Heart isn't perfect, but I'm willing to go as far to say that Jeff Bridges is. I can get past the imperfections of the storyline and the slight melodramatic feel the last third of the film emanates when the film boasts a cast as good as this. This is a solid film that is a pure delight to watch. And best of all, it nabbed Jeff Bridges a long overdue Oscar win.
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