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Saturday, 2 June 2012

Crazy Heart

I finally caught up with this movie on DVD - I'd been meaning to see it for some time, but never gotten around to it, until now that is. I've always enjoyed these type of movies and Crazy Heart comes from a long line of movies about troubled singers - think of it as Honkeytonk Man crossed with That'll Be The Day.

Jeff Bridges plays aging. downward bound country singer, Bad Blake. The guy's life is in a mess - he's an alcoholic with a string of failed marriages behind him, and a career that had stalled. He's got to the point where he's having to open shows for a singer he mentored (Colin Farrell) and brought through.

 It sure is a sorry existence for Bad Blake, but when Bad meets Jean, an unmarried journalist with a young boy, he sees in her a chance for the happiness which has eluded him all these years. The driving theme is that of a love story but there's nothing schmaltzy here and the stunning Oscar winning performance by Bridges makes this an excellent movie. Bad's self destructive steak is a mile wide and even when the doctors tell him he's killing himself he still reaches for the booze and cigs.

The harder the life, the sweeter the song.

Robert Duvall is also excellent as Bad's one and only true friend, perhaps the only man in his circle of friends who wants nothing from him, and cares about him as a person and not as a one time country music legend. All in all it's a great movie that shows us the underbelly of Americana - it's both sad and joyous. An excellent movie with great performances from the entire cast.

The soundtrack is also excellent - now I like country music but I've little time for the poppy stuff that often dominates in movies such as this, but the songs and artists have been picked carefully from the cream of true country music, both current and vintage. And Jeff Bridges himself performs several of the tracks on the soundtrack and you know what - he does just fine. Then again Bridges started out as a musician and has released several albums over the years.

"I dug what an actor did, but it took me a while to feel it, to truly appreciate the craft and the preparation. Plus, I was still playing music a lot, and I guess I had a hard time choosing: was I an actor or a musician, or could I be both? Jeff Bridges

Below is the full tracklisting of the soundtrack album:

1. "Hold On You"   Stephen Bruton, T-Bone Burnett, John Goodwin, Bob Neuwirth Jeff Bridges 2:53
2. "Hello Trouble"   Orville Couch, Eddie McDuff Buck Owens 1:52
3. "My Baby's Gone"   Hazel Houser The Louvin Brothers 2:46
4. "Somebody Else"   Bruton, Burnett Jeff Bridges 4:38
5. "I Don't Know"   Bruton, Burnett Ryan Bingham 2:23
6. "Fallin' & Flyin'"   Bruton, Gary Nicholson Jeff Bridges 3:02
7. "I Don't Know"   Bruton, Burnett Jeff Bridges 2:15
8. "Once a Gambler"   Sam Hopkins Lightnin' Hopkins 4:55
9. "Are You Sure Hank Done It This Way"   Waylon Jennings Waylon Jennings 2:55
10. "Fallin' & Flyin'"   Bruton, Nicholson Colin Farrell, Jeff Bridges 2:42
11. "Gone, Gone, Gone"   Ryan Bingham, Burnett Colin Farrell 2:39
12. "If I Needed You"   Townes Van Zandt Townes Van Zandt 3:26
13. "Reflecting Light"   Sam Phillips Sam Phillips 3:21
14. "Live Forever"   Billy Joe Shaver, Eddy Shaver Robert Duvall 0:50
15. "Brand New Angel"   Greg Brown Jeff Bridges 3:48
16. "The Weary Kind" (Theme from Crazy Heart) Bingham, Burnett Ryan Bingham 4:18
Total length:


Davieboy said...

Tried to post yesterday from an airport via my mobile but failed!
Wanted to say that you're really pushing all my buttons at the momoent. Enjoyed your Joe Konrath/John Locke article, both authors I admire. Joe Konrath has kept me entertained for years, love his Jack Daniels books.
Crazy Heart is a fine movie with an ace soundtrack. Unfortunately Stephen Bruton who co-wrote many of the songs passed away prematurely shortly after finishing work on the soundtrack.Here's a fine song of his I find very emotional to listen to..

If you like the music in Crazy Heart I recommend Ryan Bingham, who features in the film. His Mescalito album is really excellent.


Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

Thanks for the recommendation. I am ordering a CD as I type - multi tasking you see and who says only women can do that.

Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin said...

And the Dead Horses ordered.

Davieboy said...

I've finally joined Facebook - fave 5 authors:

GRR Martin
Stephen King
Bernard Cornwell
Lee Child
and Gary Dobbs/Jack Martin!!!

You'd better keep it up and justify the hype!