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The Best Movie I've Seen in Years - Mo's Journal
February 15th, 2010
02:52 pm

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The Best Movie I've Seen in Years
I just saw Crazy Heart and was completely blown away by it. The story of a washed up, alcoholic, multiply divorced, aging country music singer/songwriter named Bad Blake - played brilliantly by Jeff Bridges - this is very much an adult movie. No good guys, no bad guys - real, complex individuals with a basic goodness that's basic to humanity and frailty of resolve and purpose that's just as human.

Bridges, who is truly a national treasure, gives the performance of his life. His Bad is a man so talented and so far gone that he might be past redemption, but still manages to retain some dignity, some professionalism, and some capacity to love. It's not a broad performance at all. It's so restrained and so intimate in its portrayal of human misery, self-inflicted, that I found it hard to watch at times. Bridges does his own singing, and he's amazing - he sounds like he used to be fantastic and is still very good. Colin Farrell plays his former protege who is now a big country/rock star, eschewing cliches of the "All About Eve" variety. Farrell's Tommy Sweet remains loyal to Bad but at the same time wants Bad's redemption for his own sake (he needs new material and nobody writes songs like Bad did in his prime) and not just for his mentor's.

Maggie Gyllenhaal plays the love interest - a divorced reporter with a four-year-old son - with a tough sweetness that's very real life and not at all the usual Hollywood imitation. Robert Duvall plays a bar owner and old friend to Bad. His presence reminds the viewer that the movie is in some ways reminiscent of Tender Mercies. At the same time it is so much its own film, not derivative in any way.

And the music - evocative and lyrical and danceable and hauntingly memorable. Written by Stephen Bruton (who died while the movie was being made) and T. Bone Burnett, it has a folk quality reminiscent of Leonard Cohen at his best, while still sounding genuinely country.

Go see it! And if Bridges doesn't get the Oscar for this performance, it will be a travesty.

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From:hitchhiker
Date:February 15th, 2010 08:03 pm (UTC)
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now that sounds like my kind of movie! will be sure not to miss it.
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From:talktooloose
Date:February 16th, 2010 05:34 pm (UTC)
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I look forward to seeing it. We basically watch nothing until it comes out on DVD.

Bridges was fabulous in The Door in the Floor, based on the first section of John Irving's Widow for One Year.

What should we watch this weekend? Geeky greatest hits? Maybe I should get people to bring stuff.
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From:mofic
Date:February 16th, 2010 07:32 pm (UTC)
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Don't we *need* to watch the X-Men trilogy? Or at least highlights thereof? I could bring some movies.
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From:talktooloose
Date:February 16th, 2010 07:48 pm (UTC)
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Oh God, I don't know if I can... It may be a while since you saw them, but I've watched them in minute detail as each one came up in DOB. "Wolverine and the X-Men" animated would be more fun. I have that.

Sure, bring two or three movies you think we might be into!
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From:mofic
Date:February 16th, 2010 08:35 pm (UTC)
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My X1 disk is actually worn out from overuse, and I haven't seen it for a long time. X2 I saw recently and X3 I can't stand. But X-Men cartoons sound fine, too. And I'll look for a couple of movies in my collection that might be interest.
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