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.
An elderly Margaret Thatcher talks to the imagined presence of her recently deceased husband as she struggles to come to terms with his death while scenes from her past life, from girlhood to British prime minister, intervene.
Richard E. Grant
In 19th-century France, Jean Valjean, who for decades has been hunted by the ruthless policeman Javert after breaking parole, agrees to care for a factory worker's daughter. The decision changes their lives for ever.
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
Ryan Bingham, who plays Tony (the musician Bad talks to at the bowling alley) is a real-life rising country-rock star. Bingham co-wrote "The Weary Kind" with T Bone Burnett and Bingham's recording of "The Weary Kind" won a Golden Globe and an Oscar for Best Original Song. So, the real Ryan Bingham won an Oscar while a fictional Ryan Bingham, played by George Clooney in Up in the Air (2009), who was nominated the same year, did not. See more »
Bad is driving down the road in the '78 Suburban that has old faded paint. When it is rolled down the hill, it has suddenly been freshly painted exactly like it appears in its next scene, which occurred after repairs had supposedly been made. The sequence of filming was apparently to wait until the all other scenes had been made using the Suburban and then rolling it down the hill. See more »
"Petition me no petitions, sir, to-day; Let other hours be set apart for business. To-day it is our pleasure to be drunk . . ." Henry Fielding, Tom Thumb, The Great
When a memorable performance transcends a mediocre plot, the result is a memorable role flanked by a forgettable film. Such is the case of Jeff Bridges as Bad Blake, a sodden wreck of a country singer still making a living playing at bars and bowling alleys in Crazy Heart, an apt title.
Not Garth Brooks or Willie Nelson, but well-known enough to be offered free booze and free ladies, 57 year old Bad is like his 30 year old pickup truck, still serviceable but ready to bust at any moment. Bridges is a believable singer/drunk, not overdoing either but pathetic enough for you to want to strangle some sense into him while he still can perform. And write songsif he can get to them, especially at the encouragement of Tommy Sweet (a convincing, real life bad boy Colin Farrell), young country singer now flourishing partly because of Bad's good mentoring. The descent into cliché is quick as Santa Fe reporter Jane (Maggie Gyllenhaal) falls for him during an interview for her paper. She has a four-year old childwell, you can guess the rest of the film through romance and rehab but maybe not denouement.
The addition of one of the producers of the film, Robert Duvall, as Bad's friend and club owner Wayne, is a welcome allusion to Duvall's Oscar performance as country singer Mac Sledge in Tender Mercies. Add T Bone Burnett as a song writer and producer of the film and you have a promising pedigree. Unfortunately director/writer Scott Cooper may not have caught the fire of the original novel by Thomas Cobb.
I will nominate Bridges as one of the best actors of the year. That's the best I can offer you besides the New Mexico landscape and cloud dotted blue sky. As for watching another story about an alcoholic singer, I'll stick with Colin Firth drinking a little in A Single Man or Michael Sheen in the Damned United. The drunken hero is one of my damned.
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