“Whole worlds have been tamed by men who ate biscuits.” – Bad Blake
Number of Times Seen – 2 (17 Feb 2010 and 18 Feb 2014)
Brief Synopsis – An aging country music star who has a perchance for drinking too much tries to make amends in life when he falls in love with a young female reporter which inspires him to be a better person.
My Take on it – Jeff Bridges has been a great actor for most of his career and this part is by no means an exception.
He plays the character of musician Bad Blake so well that even though he is a “grumpy 57 year old former Country-Western star”, we like him and constantly root for him to straighten out his life.
This movie tells the motivational tale of how he chose to change his life and it all seems so believable. [except why a young woman like Maggie Gyllenhaal would fall for him :)]. Unfortunately for those of us who know how it works, Hollywood has it’s own way of trying to say all young women like older men, eventhough it isn’t really true.
This movie is very similar in storyline, characters and tone to The Wrestler (2008) from the previous year.
Both Bridges and Mickey Rourke’s characters are on their way to hitting rock bottom; both have strong addictions, both fall in love which gives them inspiration to try and better themselves, they both try to reconnect with their estranged children and both movies have some great music.
The relationship in The Wrestler (2008) is more believable and Rourke himself is more similar in real life to his character, but this movie works slightly better.
Bridges deservingly won Best Actor for this role.
The main theme song for this movie is The Weary Kind. Hear it here! It’s a very moving and inspirational song IMHO.
It won Best Original Song.
It’s actually ironic that the name Ryan Bingham appeared twice on Oscar nominations that year. The first is the writer of this song and the other is the name of George Clooney’s (Nominated for Best Actor) character from Up in the Air (2009). The real one won an Oscar while the fictional one lost out to the man who sings the songs written by Ryan Bingham in this movie.
Bottom Line – Excellent performances by Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal. Great music especially the theme song. Highly Recommended!
Rating – Oscar Worthy
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Once again . . . we basically agree. A very good flick, this, with some astonishingly strong performances at its core.
basically??? what do we not agree on?
In this case, not much. I agree the relationship with Gyllenhaal, and the depth of feeling they allegedly share, is a bit underdeveloped.
Maybe the only slight disagreement is in Bridges’ character. I’m not sure I ever really liked him. I was interested in his story, but that doesn’t mean I particularly like him.
He is an anti-hero, but I still wanted to see him succeed and not fall flat on his face. Basically I was rooting for him even though he was a grumpy ass
Enjoyed this one a lot. Definitely not perfect – i like your comparison with The Wrestler, and i had more belief in Mickey Rourke as a run-down, limelight clutcher. Having said that the performances here are great, the film has a good heart and the music is sublime. Great review Rob!
Thanks Adam. I would agree that Rourke was more believable but that’s because of what we also know of his personal life. I think he was truly mugged by Sean Penn.
I still think that this movie is slightly better, but I also loved it!
Appreciate you stopping by and commenting
I liked the Wrestler so I may check this out. Jeff Bridges is one cool dude. Good review.
No, he was The Dude in Lewbowski 🙂
I’d love to hear what you think.
Thanks for stopping by Sidekick!
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