Saturday, March 06, 2010
Hits The Mark
The mark of a really good movie is transcending its one-sentence description. Want to see a movie about a mentally disturbed college professor? A trailer woman redeemed by boxing? A retired gunman avenging a mutilated prostitute? Gay cowboys (actually shepherds) in the 60s? You see what I mean...
Despite great reviews, I wasn't excited to see a film about a aging, down-on-his-luck country singer, but 'Crazy Heart' is a engaging film and an interesting story, anchored by the excellent performances of Oscar front runner Jeff Bridges as the singer and nominee Maggie Gyllenhaal as the journalist and single mother who reluctantly becomes involved with him. In addition, the film is admirably realistic and tells its tale without the slightest whiff of Hollywood clichés, simplifications, pat solutions or happy endings. Extra bonus: The music is terrific, and Bridges can sing, as can Colin Farrell as the erstwhile protegé who now rules the country charts..
Bridges brilliantly nails this flawed and complex but ultimately sympathetic character. Gyllenhaal is luminous as the tough but vulnerable woman who becomes his catalyst. I'm thrilled she's getting recognition here, as relatively she's under-appreciated
after a decade of brilliant work in small films (Sherrybaby, Donnie Darko) punctuated by occasional commercial outings (Batman: The Dark Knight).
Anyway, here's the trailer:
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