Wednesday, January 5, 2011

"The Weary Kind" - Ryan Bingham

Jeff Bridges in Crazy Heart
I'm not a huge fan of movies, I don't have a video store membership and I've been to the movie theater maybe 3 times over the past year. Once in awhile a movie does come out that catches my attention, and so I finally got around to watching "Crazy Heart". Despite success at the award shows this movie seems to have flown under most people's radar. 

My favorite types of movies are the ones that give a very real picture of human existence. Movies that are raw, ugly and believable. Jeff Bridges has done for "Crazy Heart", what Mickey Rourke did for "The Wrestler". These once infamous, aging celebrities portray characters that seem to mimic their own careers. They play talented, faded stars who are working towards a comeback.
"You make me want to be a better man"
Bridges embodies the character of  hard-living, broken down, country music star, "Bad Blake". Blake finds his salvation after meeting a music journalist, Jean Craddock (played by Maggie Gyllenhaal). Bridges gives a hauntingly authentic performance as an alcoholic, rough around the edges, musician. After falling in love with Jean, Blake decides to get sober and re-launch his career. I'm more of a realistic romantic, my favorite movie line of all time is from Jack Nicholson's character, in "As Good As It Gets", "You make me want to be a better man". This quote reminded me of Bridge's character. He's not an overly romantic, good looking or charming man, but he is willing to be a better person for the woman he loves. That to me - speaks volumes over any diamonds, poetry or flowers. (SPOILER) The movie ends with Blake sobering up and regaining some of his old glory. His career and bank account are revitalized after penning a song for uber popular Country stud - Tommy Sweet (played by Colin Farrelll). The song he writes is "The Weary Kind". As was Springsteen's anthem "The Wrestler", the theme song for "Crazy Heart" is a perfect match.

Ryan Bingham
Bridges performs the guitar and vocals for the song but it was written for the movie by Ryan Bingham. At only 29 years old Bingham took home an Academy AwardGolden Globe and an AMA for his song "The Weary Kind". Don't let Bingham's boyish good looks fool you - his voice has the weight and depth of a man much wiser. The first time I listened to Bingham sing I was immediately reminded of Tom Waits. My favorite description of Tom Waits voice was by critic Daniel Durchholz, who said Waits voice sounded, "like it was soaked in a vat of bourbon, left hanging in the smokehouse for a few months, and then taken outside and run over with a car." Through my research (ahem.. googling) I found another comparison between Bingham and Waits by Texas Music Magazine, who wrote that ,"Bingham talks and sings with a whiskey-and-cigarette throat that screams hard living. Hard in a way that can make a 29-year-old sound like a 50-year-old Tom Waits."The movie "Crazy Heart" and the song, "The Weary Kind" really do go hand in hand. You have to listen/watch one to fully appreciate the other.


Your heart’s on the loose

You rolled them sevens with nothing to lose
And this ain’t no place for the weary kind

You called all your shots
Shooting 8 ball at the corner truck stop
Somehow this don’t feel like home anymore

And this ain’t no place for the weary kind
And this ain’t no place to lose your mind
And this ain’t no place to fall behind
Pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try


Your body aches…
Playing your guitar and sweating out the hate
The days and the nights all feel the same

Whiskey has been a thorn in your side
and it doesn’t forget
the highway that calls for your heart inside

And this ain’t no place for the weary kind
And this ain’t no place to lose your mind
And this ain’t no place to fall behind
Pick up your crazy heart and give it one more try

Your lover's warm kiss…
It’s too damn far from your fingertips
You are the man that ruined her world
Your heart’s on the loose
You rolled them sevens with nothing to lose
And this ain’t no place for the weary kind

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