There's nothing too surprising about the ways in which Crazy Heart both follows and finesses formula. You've seen this preordained road from wreckage to redemption before. But actor turned first-time director Scott Cooper's screenplay honors the flies in the windshield inherited from Thomas Cobb's novel.
As does Bridges, needless to say. Here he's fleshy, hairy, wheezy — well-intentioned, but charming and untrustworthy at once. He rules an otherwise ordinary film like Mickey Rourke did 2008's The Wrestler. But here's guessing the relative lack of flamboyance (or salvation from the skids) won't do Jeff Bridges similar favors. Again.
CRAZY HEART opens Fri/25 in San Francisco.