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Crazy Heart pulls the strings 

Director Scott Cooper forms the movie equivalent to country music.

Crazy Heart fits The Wrestler mold of a morose look at an ex-star falling apart. Only it’s more slight, in both impact and design. Music vet Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges) is now an alcoholic reduced to playing bowling alleys, cherishing any moment of fan recognition. Director Scott Cooper forms the movie equivalent to country music---Crazy Heart indulges misery without hysterics, as Blake meanders through the aftermath of bad choices, lost love and broken family, with uncertain future direction. Bridges’ mumble-mouthed naturalism garners Blake empathy. Where The Wrestler contextualized Marisa Tomei and Mickey Rourke’s sex-and-violence trade roles as expired ’80s relics, Crazy Heart hasn’t equivalent literary impact. It’s an acceptable, minor film---its successes limited by its aims.

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