Starring Jeff Bridges, Maggie Gyllenhaal, and Colin Farrell
Rated R for language and brief sexuality
Appropriate for ages 17+
Bad Blake (Bridges) is a broken-down, hard-drinking country singer from Houston that has had a tough life on the road and it has finally caught up to him. A light appears at the end of his tunnel though when he meets and falls for a young journalist (Gyllenhaal) that could be just what he needs to pull himself out of the mess he’s allowed himself to get into.
Story-wise, the film is very similar to last year’s film The Wrestler. There’s the down and out male lead with potential and the single mother he falls for that could be his salvation. That being said, the movie doesn’t have nearly the quality of story or the heart of the Mickey Rourke vehicle, but what it does have is a tremendous performance by the amazing Jeff Bridges. Bridges seems so at home with this character that it almost appears he was born to play it. As an outside observer you really want this character to rise above and get the girl and you really feel the pain when he screws up over and over again.
Just as impressive as the acting by Bridges though, is the wonderful soundtrack with an impressive assortment of music compiled by T-Bone Burnett, the same fellow that brought us Across the Universe and O Brother, Where Art Thou? It seems that whenever you hear a soundtrack that you just have to go out and buy afterward, this man’s name is on the label. So far the song ‘The Weary Kind’ by he and Ryan Bingham has already scored a Critics’ Choice Movie Award and a Golden Globe and will probably be the front runner for the Oscar.
While the movie itself isn’t as impressive as its parts, it is still a darn good film and between its country roots and the fact that part of it takes place in Houston, you’ll probably feel a strong connection. A-