Crazy Heart is the story of Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges), a fifty-seven year old chain-smoking alcoholic, country music singer trying to overcome his personal demons and find some sort of redemption in his life. On the surface, this plot sounds like a cliche country music song with a predictable ending. However, the movie has its own unique twists and turns that left me surprised and deeply moved.
While performing at a small bar in Santa Fe, Bad meets newspaper journalist Jean Craddock (Maggie Gyllenhaal), who wants to interview him for a local newspaper. Despite Bad’s reckless behavior, Jean and Bad begin a relationship. Bad’s professional career also takes a turn for the better when he reconnects with a former touring partner (Colin Farrel) who wants Bad to write songs for him. Bad has been given a second chance in his life and we watch wondering if he is going to take advantage of it and turn his life around or if he is going to blow it and continue with his self-destructive behavior…
This is why Crazy Heart really makes you think and prompts you to ask some tough questions about decisions you’ve made in the past, choices you can make in the future and second chances. We can never know if or when we might be given a second chance. Crazy Heart encourages us to be prepared and ready for it when the time comes. Similar to when you protect pipes from freezing, Crazy heart encourages us to protect our heart from freezing and growing cold.
Additionally, most of us have reached a point in life where either through bad luck or poor choices, we’ve experienced some significant hardship. However, I believe we are also given second chances. Crazy Heart asks us what are you going to do when you are given your second chance in life. You can either choose to let it slip away or “pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try” as the title song of the movie suggests.