Magazine article Variety

Critics Hail Pic Quartet

Magazine article Variety

Critics Hail Pic Quartet

Article excerpt

'CRAZY HEART' (2009)

This was Cooper's directorial debut, and critics raved about the vehicle he created for Bridges, which the star drove straight to his first Academy Award.

* Roger Ebert, RogerEbert.com: "[Bridges'] acting is as clear as running water. The notion of a broke-down, boozy country singer is an archetype in pop culture. We've seen this story before. The difference is, Bad Blake makes us believe it happened to him."

* A.O. Scott, New York Times: "Mr. Bridges, settling into Mr. Cooper's understated script as if he'd written it himself, [has] a playboy's charm and an old-fashioned Southern courtliness halfhidden behind the weariness, the anger at squandered possibilities, the flabby gut and the unkempt beard. A small movie perfectly scaled to the big performance at its center."

AMONG THE AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS IT RECEIVED:

* JeffBridges Best Actor: Academy Award, Film Independent Spirit Awards, Golden Globes, SAG Awards, Critics Choice Award, Los Angeles Film Critics Association.

* Song "The Weary Kind": Academy Award, Grammy Award (Song Written for Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media), Critics' Choice Award, Golden Globe.

* Maggie Gyllenhaal: Academy Award nomination, supporting actress

* Scott Cooper: Writers Guild of America nomination, adapted screenplay

* Grammy Awards: Compilation Soundtrack album

* Film Independent Spirit Award: First feature

'OUT OF THE FURNACE' (2013)

Cooper's second film dealt with a pair of brothers, played by Christian Bale and Casey Affleck, hemmed in by Rust Belt recession and the workings of fate. Though critics were mixed, many cheered Cooper's tense, atmospheric drama and the performances by Bale, Affleck and Woody Harrelson as the film's villain.

* Scott Foundas, Variety: "A starkly powerful drama that in some ways feels like an Iraq-era bookend to 'The Deer Hunter,' with bare-knuckle boxing substituted for Russian roulette. A much darker package than Cooper's 'Crazy Heart,' but graced by the same lyrical sense of worn-down American lives."

* Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: "Cooper, whose 'Crazy Heart' had a similar affinity for shaggy outsiders, maintains a heated, naturalistic feel."

* Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: "This is only Scott Cooper's second film as a director, but he already knows how to bring out lived-in authenticity in actors."

AMONG THE AWARDS AND NOMINATIONS IT RECEIVED:

* Top 10 Films of the Year: African-American Film Critics Association.

* Christian Bale: British Actor of the Year, London Critics Circle Film Awards

'BLACK MASS' (2015)

Cooper worked from the nonfiction book by two Boston Globe reporters who had covered Boston gangster James "Whitey" Bulger. …

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