Crazy Heart–Movie Review

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3 Stars
Crazy Heart is a well-made film with a really good performance by Jeff Bridges, but somehow I can’t get too enthusiastic about it.

Bridges plays “Bad” Blake, a boozy old country singer, once a big star but now reduced to singing in bowling alleys. The remaining fans who show up to hear him need to be very forgiving, though he occasionally shows flashes of his old charisma.

He agrees to be interviewed by Jean Craddock (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a free-lance reporter and single mother. Somehow they end up falling love. (What is she thinking? He’s not just older than she is; he’s downright decrepit!)

This is, of course, mostly a story about alcoholism. Part of my problem with it may be that the combination of alcoholism and country music reminds me too much of Walk the Line, a much more compelling movie.

Crazy Heart tries hard and has it’s heart in the right place. Like many such movies it seems torn by the question of whether to have an overly pat, cheerful and crowd-pleasing ending, or an ending that is more believable but depressing. It eventually compromises in a way that is sort of satisfactory.