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Crazy Heart (2009)Crazy Heart (2009)

Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) is a country western music star who's fallen far over the hill. He's fifty-seven, drives a 1978 beater truck, and opens this movie playing a gig in a bowling alley in Pueblo, Colorado. "I used to be somebody," he croons, "but now I'm somebody else." Between stanzas he wobbles through the back stage door to puke outside in a bucket. The only question seems to be whether he will die of liver failure from liquor or lung cancer from tobacco. When asked where all his remarkable country songs came from, Bad responds, "from life, unfortunately." But so much for regret; this is country western, and that means a road to redemption. Blake meets a reporter named Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who enables him to love again, and to make amends with her four year old son for his own son whom he's not seen in twenty-four years. This is a simple movie with an unpredictable end; Bridges demonstrates how excellent acting can carry the day even for a simple story line. If you liked The Wrestler, you'll enjoy Crazy Heart.

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