CRAZY HEART is a great film that centers around a grizzled slab of a man, on the waning sunset years of life, battling addiction and years of neglect to once again regain his faded glory. At his side, an inspiring young woman hides scars of her own even as she acts as the muse that triggers his valiant comeback. If all this sounds familiar, it is. It's impossible to ignore the fact that no matter how excellent Crazy Heart is, the screenwriter should pay royalties to Robert Siegel, writer of The Wrestler.
Jeff Bridges plays Bad Blake, the Randy "The Ram" Robinson of the country music circuit. Bad Blake resembles a leathery strip of jerky extracted from the maw of Kris Kristofferson, or perhaps just a slightly less haggard Merle Haggard. On the downward slope of his career, Blake swaps Opry gigs for empty bowling alleys in Pueblo, Colorado. His best material was been co-opted by a former protégé named Tommy (yes, just like in Hedwig and the Angry Inch), and Blake has settled into a life of kissing the bottle and chain smoking in seedy motels.
That is, until he crosses paths with local writer Maggie Gyllenhaal, who turns his life around and gives him momentum to live again. It's a fantastic tale, with a solid soundtrack; too bad it all seems so familiar.