Jeff Bridges doesn’t have an Oscar, which is without a doubt a terrible oversight. He’s been so good in so many films, from “Starman” to “The Big Lebowski” to “Winter Kills” and “The Fisher King”– and, of course, “The Fabulous Baker Boys.” Let’s just give him one already! (He’d be a good honoree for the National Board of Review, er, fans.)
Anyway, Bridges will be nominated for a film I saw yesterday called “Crazy Heart.” It’s Best Actor stuff, and he will now join a list I think will likely include Daniel Day-Lewis, Colin Firth, George Clooney and one other, maybe Morgan Freeman.
As usual Bridges is phenomenal as a broken down country singer-songwriter somewhere between Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash. His Bad Blake (that’s the character’s name) is one of those talented losers you have to love, and Bridges throws himself into the part with relish. Not only that, he sings and plays his own songs.
Here’s a clip from You Tube from the shoot, with Colin Farrell, yes Colin Farrell, as his co-star:
The thing about Bridges is that he makes it all look too easy. His Bad Blake actually seems real, and Bridges makes you feel every nuance of his being. It’s just great, great work.
“Crazy Heart” will likely also garner Best Song and Best Score nominations, and the Golden Globes can throw it into their Best Comedy/Musical category. I’m not sure that the Academy will give it a Best Picture nod though. “Crazy Heart” reads overall like “The Wrestler” with country music. This isn’t to say it isn’t good — it is — but it’s hampered by all-too-familiar story elements of a lovable disaster of a guy who can’t make relationships work, etc.
This doesn’t take away from Bridges or the rest of the cast. They are eminently watchable and the movie is one you will recommend over and over to friends. Farrell is just fine, albeit young, as the big hit singer for whom Bad Blake writes hits. Maggie Gyllenhaal is luminous as the put upon girlfriend. Among the supporting cast, though, Robert Duvall steals the show. There’s one lovely scene not to be missed of Bridges and Duvall in a rowboat. Duvall could get some attention for that. He rocks.
As for Jeff Bridges, give him some award already. He’s such a nice guy, a great actor (just like his brother and father) and he has a funny Web site worth checking out.
P.S. There’s a really good actor in “Crazy Heart” named Tom Bower. He’s also in “Bad Lieutenant: Port of Call New Orleans.” Like most journeyman actors, he has hundreds of credits and no one knows his name. He’s very good in both movies. I looked up his name because I was tired of saying, “Oh that guy!”