Crazy Heart: Oscar noms? Really?

Just saw this thing. Too long, too predictable, too boring. Bridges and Gyllenhall had almost zero chemistry and just weren’t believable. Best supporting actress? I don’t see it. Best actor? Bridges is nearly incomprehensible. Other people have played derelict drunks and done it better. Duvall was embarassingly inept in a cameo role. I just don’t get the hype.

It’s not Bridges’ best role ever at all. If it wins him an Oscar, that’s nice. I want him to win because I like him, not because I’ve never seen him do anything better. The movie itself is pretty thoroughly average.

In a year where “The Blind Side,” a barf-o-matically predictable sports movie gives a potential Best Actress to Sandra-Fucking-Bullock, all bets are off.

I liked it OK, even if it is more or less a remake of Tender Mercies. :wink:

I thought Jeff Bridges was very good - I normally hate country and western music, but he created a very believable character that wasn’t your typical loser in this kind of film; you actually liked the guy, despite his faults.

I would rather see Colin Firth win for A Single Man - but I am beginning to think I am in the minority there.

I thought Bridges was excellent – it was a marvelously subtle performance, and I actually thought his mumbling was fine: the inarticulateness was what his character was all about. Agree that the chemistry with Maggie Gyllenhall wasn’t there – the actress portraying Jane should have been five years older.

My friend preferred it to The Wrestler – vice versa for me.

And, though not a country music fan at all, I’m thinking very seriously of getting the soundtrack.

The film just never achieved lift-off. It kept driving down the runway, then onto the roads, and back onto the runway, but never seemed to get in the air. The Wrestler had far more pathos and much better character development, IMO: the editing was sharp and so was the writing. Crazy Heart seemed to be mired down in the actors’ personalities and drifted from one vignette to another without much cohesion. I’ll concede that Bridges did a pretty good job of portraying a trainwreck (reminded me of my brother). Without his performance, the film would have been a complete bomb.

Although I haven’t seen Crazy Heart – and probably won’t due to time constraints – I can’t help think of comparing the Bridges element to the Best Actor Oscar Race of 1996 (1995 movies), and really, these things are races. Nicolas Cage, he played a drunk guy and all, so he was on the fast track to Oscar, despite what I thought was a performance for the ages from Sean Penn in Dead Man Walking. But all the talk started and ended with Cage and that was that. And maybe it had a lot to do with Penn not being everyone’s favorite guy, but all the talk was about Cage playing a drunk. And relative to great performances, I’m not sure playing a drunk is either: A). the most challenging performance for an actor; or B). all that emotionally compelling. (And I’m far from the first person to play this rant.)

And that seems to be what’s unfolding with Bridges, the guy who hasn’t one an Oscar, but has that body of work that I guess adds bonus points or something to the most recent performance. IMHO, they should save those pseudo honorary Oscars for Best Supporting because, because [Bill Murray, Weekend Update, 1977] Nobody Cares About Them Anyway [/Bill Murray, Weekend Update, 1977].

I’m not seeing that movie because I am SICK of movies that pair old, washed-up, ugly (not that Jeff Bridges is ugly, but his character behaves in not-nice ways from what I’ve read) men with MUCH younger, relatively good-looking women. I’m over that meme, trope, or whatever you want to call it. The idea that someone Maggie Gyllenhaal’s age would be attracted to someone Bridge’s character’s age, especially with his issues, is laughable.

Yes, yes, power of love, thinking outside the boundaries, non-traditional relationships, blah blah blah. I’m no longer interested in what’s become a laughably common theme in television and movies. (and yes, I’m well aware of the irony or whatever of me dismissing a movie I’ve never seen based on what I’ve read about it).

It’s kinda pathetic, but I saw the thread title and figured it was about what snacks to eat while watching the Oscars.


I really hated the ending. We get what, 90 seconds of him in AA and all of a sudden he’s clean and sober? The movie should have ended with him dying of liver failure.

Saw it this weekend. I really liked it; but it was entirely due to Bridges. My thoughts:

– Bridges was excellent. I thought he really captured a man conflicted between hope and despair. Talented but self-destructive. The performance was great. I especially loved the scene where he goes back to Gyllenhall after his recovery and she closes the door on him. The closeup of him standing at the door - sadness and regret and fear. Lovely work.

– Gyllenhall was good but the role was wrong for her. She was miscast. The woman needed to be at least in her 40s – like the other women Blake picked up on the road. The differences in their ages was just too distracting.

Unlike the OP who complained that the movie was too long, I thought it was far too short. Gyllenhall fell in love with Blake much to quickly to believe. I know it wasn’t really love - she knew he wouldn’t stay - but it seemed unrealistic that she would throw herself at him so quickly. He wasn’t the most attractive man. The other part that felt left out was his recovery. He checks into a program to dry out and boom! It’s sixteen months later and he’s still sober and doing well again. Wha? It seemed waaay too easy. They needed to show him struggling with staying clean a little longer.

Now, they did have the scene where he’s cleaning his house and finds Buddy’s shirt, and picks up the phone to call… and then thinks better of it and hangs up. That showed him struggling with letting them go. The needed to show some kind of conflict with the alcohol, too.

So overall, I give Jeff Bridges an A. He deserves an Oscar for this as much as Firth.
I give Gyllenhall a B+. She did her best but it wasn’t the role for her.
I give T Bone Burnett an A-. I can’t think of a soundtrack he’s ever done that disappointed me.
I give the movie a B. It was good but took too many shortcuts.

My Oscar votes: Best Actor (Bridges), and Best Song (The Weary Kind).

In terms of character development, it was way too short. Or perhaps it was just that the actors weren’t carrying the load of being believable, or the chemistry was just off. It seemed long to me because it wasn’t really going anywhere other than to a predictable ending. Gyllenhall was clearly repulsed by Bridges (the actor, not the character he played), and her acting skills are just not up to pretending to enjoy kissing someone who smells like an ashtray. They really needed someone in that role who looked like a younger Bonnie Raitt, or at least Bonnie Bedelia. Helen Hunt? Somebody with some character in her face and some years of wear.

For someone who was supposed to be down and out, Blake seemed to live in a pretty nice place and went to an expensive-looking rehab joint. The movie just bugs me for a lot of small things that add up to mediocre.

I saw it a couple of weeks ago and liked it. The first twenty minutes or so, before Gyllenhaal was introduced, were by far my favorite part–a look at how brutal life on the road can be even for respected artists.

I also liked the relationship between Bad Blake and Tommy Sweet. From the way Blake reacts to mentions of Tommy’s name in the first act you think he’s going to be an asshole who forgot where he came from, but that turns out not to be true at all. That was a nice touch.

As much as I love Maggie Gyllenhaal, I agree that she was too young for the part. It doesn’t help that she looks even younger than the 32 she is. Bridges looked like he could have been her grandfather. On top of that, the movie just didn’t convince me of why she fell for Blake. I mean, people in real life do things that don’t make sense all the time, but they really shouldn’t do so in movies.

But despite that flaw, I enjoyed the movie, and I’d be happy to see Bridges get an Oscar for it.

Hunt would’ve probably been a good choice. Someone young enough to yave a young son, but old enough to be wary of men in general and aging alcoholic country musicians in particular. They should have spent more time showing us what she saw in him.

The house didn’t bother me; it wasn’t that nice and it could have been paid for when he was more successful. And I assumed that Robert Duvall helped him pay for the rehab (although they made a point to say that Duvall was hurting financially too, so that doesn’t really solve anything).

And responding to DoctorJ, I do like what they did with Tommy Sweet. Actually I think he was the most convincing supporting character - it would have been nice to see more of their relationship.

He really did dial it in for this one, didn’t he? I swear, Colin Farrell’s eyebrows did more acting in this movie than Duvall did! He was a real disappointment.

Agree with everyone else that Maggie Gyllenhall was just too young and therefore unbelievable as a love interest. Helen Hunt would have been a good choice. Also maybe someone like Catherine Keener could have pulled it off.

The rehab should have definitely played out more, probably the last quarter of the movie instead of the five minutes (at most!) that it got.

:eek: That’s not true at all. Maggie has had nothing but good things to say about Bridges, lavishing much praise and respect on him. Plus, Bridges and his wife Susan, and Maggie and her husband Peter Sarsgaard are good friends.

Plus, and this makes this thread very amusing, a lot of you are underestimating, or rather just not seeing, Jeff Bridges’/Bad Blake’s charisma and sex appeal. Yeah Blake is kinda scruffy, but scruffy can be sexy, especially when the actor underneath the scruff is Jeff Bridges. I totally understood why Maggie’s character would lust after him, then fall in love with him, but not to the extent that she wasn’t able to kick his ass out when he fucked up. He probably had her at the line “I wanna talk about how bad you make this room look. I never knew what a dump it was until you came in here.” Few women could resist that, especially since it wasn’t just a corny pickup line, he was sincere and she could tell.

I’m glad a few people mentioned Tommy Sweet. I liked that character a lot, and Colin Farrell has gotten far too little attention for his performance. Didn’t Sweet give Blake a hefty advance for writing songs for the album? It’s been a couple of months since I’ve seen the film so I’m not clearly remembering the timeline, but that might be where Blake got the money to go to rehab. Sweet might have paid for it in one way or another. I agree that Blake’s house was likely paid for several years and glory days earlier. I could be misremembering, but I had the idea that Blake was “down and out” more professionally and personally, rather than financially. Not that he was still rich, but he wasn’t about to be homeless. He probably had to work to pay things like property taxes and utilities and general bills, but he also had to work just because that’s what he does, sings, performs. He hated his gigs, but any gig is better than no gigs.

I need to see the movie again.

Perhaps their friendship off-screen made it uncomfortable for her to have romantic scenes with him on-screen. She clearly (to me) did not seem to be enjoying things.

A NYT profile of Jeff Bridges:

Agreed on both counts. 5 or maybe 10 years old - like the ones he met on the road. I found the age difference distracting. Maggie Gyllenhall - I want to like her, I do. But she’s just a bad actress, plain and simple. She is where she is because she’s cute and because Jake is her brother. Bridges was very good, not his best, but very very good. Really liked the relationship between Bad and Tommy

And I think the Oscar pool is pretty shallow this year, so it could be his year.