Some movies conspire against you. They make you wanna love the characters, the situation, the meaning behind the means. They love to watch you cry when all that goes south. Set that feeling to country music and you've got Crazy Heart.
Bad Blake (Bridges) has a problem: himself. At one point he was a headlining country act right up there with Johnny and Willie and Waylon, but time took a toll. Blake lives from town to town drinking himself low until he meets a young reporter (Gyllenhaal) who gives him hope. Viewers are left watching Blake dash that hope against the rocks of his soul.
Sounds kinda dour, huh? It's not, not really. For the most part you want Blake to make his way, to beat the booze and end up with the girl (except she's 28 years his junior the hard way around). He's a likeable guy and the music is really fun. Then he's drinking and killing himself and you see that maybe grandpa needs someone around him full time. In case he breaks a hip or something.
Bridges is well cast, pulling off The Dude But Country. The degree of sadness he emotes rings true. Gyllenhaal (Maggie, not Jake) acts the hell out of this performance, but the age gap kept coming up in my mind. I just don't see her as broken with life to end up with this chump. Maybe in ten more years, when her kid is a teen and stops giving a shit about her. A character change is needed, not the acting. Age him down or age her up, but keep the same level of performance.
Overall, one of those movies I'll never watch again. Heart wrenching and painful but worth the time.