Crazy Heart is quiet and independent. It was well acted and well made, but from start to finish, there wasn't much in the way of surprises. I’m not saying all movies need crazy plot twists, but this one is so linearly one step after another along the road of independent screenplay, I found myself losing interest.
My two over arching sentiments were: The Wrestler is better and the music is great. The Wrestler has a similar bone structure – over the hill guy used to be somebody and has to struggle with being nobody. However, The Wrestler is better. First of all, it’s more tragic and therefore feels more realistic. I also think Mickey Rourke’s performance was more deserving of the Oscar than that of Jeff Bridges.
The music, however, is terrific. Having just seen The Thing Called Love – where the characters pretend the music is amazing when it’s actually crap – Crazy Heart offered a nice shift. The music of Crazy Heart has beautiful, heartfelt lyrics. I am, in no way, a country music fan. But good music is good music (just as, I often argue, a good film is a good film, no matter the genre). Lyrics like “Funny how fallin’ feels like flyin’ for a little while” are absolute poetry. Few movies about musicians have the music to back up the characters (Once is the only other example that comes immediately to mind) and it was nice to see it here, especially in a genre that is full of laughable superficial depression.
The bottom line: it was a nice film. Jeff Bridges fans will love it more than I did. And I doubt I’ll ever watch it again.