Magazine article Newsweek

'Crazy Heart': Bridges Bares His Twangs

Magazine article Newsweek

'Crazy Heart': Bridges Bares His Twangs

Article excerpt

Byline: David Ansen

Once a headlining Country and Western star, Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) is now lucky to get a gig at a bowling alley in Pueblo, Colo., which is where we first meet him in Crazy Heart. At a grizzled 57, he's a broke, chain--smoking alcoholic with four marriages under his belt and a tendency to run outside to vomit in the middle of a set. Still, he hasn't lost his voice, or, when he needs it, his charm, so you can understand why Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal), a small-town reporter who wants to interview him, might, against her better instincts, fall for him.

We're drawn to him too, no matter how many times we've seen these self-destructive singers onscreen before. There's something irresistible about the anti-glamour of crashing stars. Think of Rip Torn in the 1973 Payday or Robert Duvall in 1983's Tender Mercies. Actors love these roles, and they bring out their best. Bridges is phenomenal. …

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