Running Time: 112 minutes
Release: 18 December 2010
Starring Jeff Bridges as Bad Blake a 57 year old washed up country music singer/songwriter who turns to copious bottles of bourbon for solace and inspiration. Whilst on his backwater pub tour he is interviewed by journalist Jean (Maggie Gyllenhaal) and they strike up an unlikely relationship. Bad is then offered an opportunity of a lifetime to be the opening act for big country star Tommy Sweet (Colin Farrell) his former protege. Initially relectant Bad eventually agrees to open for Tommy and tries to put the hard word on him to record some duets in order to save his fledging career. Bad returns home but continues his long distance relationship with Jean and her son Buddy (Jack Nation) convincing them to visit his hometown. Unfortunately Bad’s alcoholic ways get the better of him as he breaks his vow not to drink in front of Buddy which leads to potentially disastrous consequences and the subsequent loss of Jean’s faith. With the help of friend Wayne (Robert Duvall) he joins Alcoholics Anonymous and is on the path to redemption. He successfully pens songs for Tommy for which he is handsomly rewarded and tries to rekindle his relationship with Jean. Sound familiar? Based on the 1987 novel of the same name by Thomas Cobb with Scott Cooper writing the screenplay and directing is just too derivative.
It was like watching the Wrestler all over again except that Jeff Bridges is a bit easier on the eye. Probably the only saving grace for the cliche storyline is Jeff Bridges fine performance in which he has already won a Golden Globe for best actor and is now up for an Academy Award. He actually sings in the film, harking back to his performance in the Fabulous Baker Boys and is joined in his efforts by Colin Farrell and Robert Duvall. Given all the accolades bestowed on the film I was a tad disappointed but its worth seeing particularly is you haven’t seen the Wrestler or the like or it has become a distant memory and you can just enjoy the fine Mr Bridges.