Crazy Heart

Didja ever notice that whenever a guy picks up a guitar he also picks up a drawl? To my amazement, not only did it happen to Jeff Bridges, who we already know is a musician, e.g., "The Fabulous Baker Boys," but to Irish Bad Boy, Colin Farrell ("In Bruges"), who turns in an acceptable American accent and sings "Country!" He and Bridges even do a duet.

This is Bridges' role of a lifetime. He disappears into it so thoroughly I could almost SMELL him. He is an ill-kempt, chain-smoking, maintenance alcoholic on a slow slide to oblivion. His once-stellar career is in total eclipse, as his agent struggles to book him in bowling alleys and taverns in the Southwest. When he mentioned a booking in Benson, Arizona, I wondered if it was at the Horseshoe Cafe! I didn't find out because he canceled the gig and hurried on to Phoenix. Rats!

A generous serving of original music is offered by T. Bone Burnett and the late Stephen Bruton. The soundtrack has an authentic twang and is one of the main reasons Bridges agreed to do this film.

Maggie Gyllenhaal ("Away We Go") is a young journalist who asks to interview our fallen star. He agrees and his well-known charm (he's been married four times) seems to work its magic again. I confess to a certain amount of "ick" when watching those scenes, because even though I am admirer of Mr. B. and have been for years, as I said, I could almost smell that character!

Robert Duvall (an Oscar for playing a similar role in "Tender Mercies") is the guy Bridges runs to when everything else goes downhill. Duvall, along with Bridges, also serves as one of the Executive Producers.

Watch for this one at the Academy Awards.