Almost Truly Redemptive
Release Date: December 16, 2009
Audience: Older teenagers and adults
Runtime: 111 minutes
Distributor: Fox Searchlight Pictures
Director: Scott Cooper
Writer: Scott Cooper
Address Comments To:Stephen Gilula, President/COO
Nancy Utley, President/COO
Fox Searchlight Pictures
20th Century Fox Film Corp.
A division of Fox, Inc. and News Corp.
10201 West Pico Blvd., Bldg. 38
Los Angeles, CA 90035
Phone: (310) 369-1000; Fax: (310) 369-2359
Jeannie is a single mom, raising 4-year-old Buddy. At first, her relationship with Bad goes well, but one day Bad enters a bar when taking care of Buddy, and Buddy is lost, though later found. This breaks their relationship.
With the help of his friend Wayne (played by Robert Duvall), Bad enters a rehab center and admits he’s an alcoholic and gets sober. Meanwhile, the young man whom he mentored, Tommy (played by Colin Ferrell), has become a major country music star. Bad begins to write songs for him after they resolve their differences. Slowly Bad’s life gets put back together, though Jeannie is gone.
CRAZY HEART is a showpiece for Jeff Bridges. He plays a conflicted alcoholic who wants to do what’s right but has let his own pain and bitterness from the past rob him of the ability to even try. Maggie Gyllenhaal is amazing as Jeannie, a woman who is drawn to repeat her mistakes with men but ultimately finds the strength to make a better life for herself.
This story is extremely well written, with a combination of great plotting and great characters. The music, some of it sung by Bridges and Ferrell, is superb and creates a soundtrack of new songs mixed with country classics.
CRAZY HEART comes so close to being a genuine story of redemption as Bad hits rock bottom and starts to put his life back together. He’s missing the faith element, however. In fact, the movie doesn’t even mention the “higher power” element of his recovery from alcoholism.
There is much that warrants extreme caution in this movie. There is plenty of foul language. Bad spends much of the movie either drinking or being drunk, and he chain smokes. Also, he has a “one night stand” with a middle-aged groupie and two scenes of sex, one of them depicted, with Jeannie.
CRAZY HEART is a movie that is about people making better choices. It would have been so much better if the characters had made the best choice of faith. This could have been another TENDER MERCIES without the gratuitous negative parts.
Overall, CRAZY HEART has much to offer as a compelling drama but requires extreme caution and much discernment for its immoral elements.
CRAZY HEART has an excellent cast and features top notch performances by Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal. A great story and great soundtrack complement the fine acting. CRAZY HEART comes close to being a genuine story of redemption as Bad hits rock bottom and starts to put his life back together. He’s missing the faith element, however. Sadly, CRAZY HEART has plenty of gratuitous foul language and drinking, plus strong sexual content. Overall, CRAZY HEART has much to offer as a compelling drama, but its immoral elements require extreme caution for older viewers.