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Good review - I had the joy of trying to argue your points with my friends who I thought liked the movie cause they were told to.


but you should be a massive success in the small-violin-playing world. you really should, your a virtuoso. it's not fair.

great review, yah i've seen a lot of 2009 films, but the year is over and yeah i'm just gonna pass on this one.


The character is based on Kris Kristofferson - the rolling stone who wrote Me & Bobby McGee. Which shouldn't affect your opinion, just wasn't sure you knew.


I think maggie g is super pretty... haven't actually seen the movie, just thought I'd put that out there.


I haven't seen the movie (I heard an outtake of the music on NPR and my ears bled and I knew sustained exposure to that might kill me)but I agree with everything your saying. It's all just so TIRESOME isn't it? It's why I like what I like and continue to not give a fuck about the Oscars, Emmys whatever.


he might be based on kris kristofferson, but to me it seems much more like ripping off townes van sant- i've sat through be here to love me, and that's enough actual gut wrenching shit for me that i don't feel compelled to watch a watered down fictional version.


I lived in Nashville long enough to know plenty of these guys in both their younger and later incarnations. I have no desire to spend however much time and money watching someone pander to another. Thanks for validating my decision.


To clarify, though, the movie itself is not award worthy or being recognized as such. Up until Oscar nominations, when Maggie G. was also nominated, only Jeff Bridges' acting had been praised. I think it was worthy of the praise. I actually enjoyed his acting and singing.


What kind of music and movies DO you like????

You sound callous, cynical and bitter to me. Lighten up!

It is a movie with good music and good performances.......???

made by a first time director, made on a low budget.

I enjoyed it immensely. I love a good story, well told.

This criteria covers a lot of film ground; Those nominated and



I'm surprised by how passionately you disliked it. I just found it mildly boring.


"A buncha people you probably never heard of."

YUCK. This statement reminds me of half the people I go to school with. As for the film, I've already seen this plot on Hallmark and abc channel. Without the pretentiousness.


I haven't seen it, and I refuse to believe that his cars name is actually "Bessie," you could've stopped there, and I would gave been able to tell this story.




I'm also surprised you don't like Maggie Gyllenhaal - granted Sherrybaby was pretty bland, but not even in Secretary?


Haven't seen the film, but I love how you tied in the Anvil documentary into the review. I thought the same as you did regarding that particular story. I just wanted to shake them and say "you had your moment, time to move on". I guess I'm weary of the tortured-musician biopics that are being thrust upon us. Change the fucking record already.


Not a fan or Bridges or either Gyllenhaal, but I am a fan of fourfour and this honest review just validated THAT. Thanks, Rich.


There is zero chemistry between her and Bridges' (they fall in love because he lazily flirts with her when she interviews him, proving that sometimes falling feels like flying...into bed).


Miss Lisa Lu

This movie was obviously made for folks like Stephanie (above), who obviously has never read you before because you like tons of just require that they be good and interesting and not tiresome...


Wow, Rich. This is probably the most truly negative I've ever "seen" you.

Um...I'm glad you reviewed this, if only to confirm why this movie has put me off from the first ads I saw for it. And the thing is, I like Jeff Bridges. I want him to do well, or whatever. But. This seems like yet another "I'm a white male over 50 who has a shitty life and I deserve better. Pay attention to me!" sort of movie. And considering the moment that demographic is having, what with them all coming together over common fear of The Other, it doesn't surprise me that here we are, with this movie, at the Oscars. Also, Avatar, in a different way, though I (and you) liked that one a lot more.

Miss Lisa

His problem is that he's an alcoholic, not that he wants to be famous. He doesn't care that much about being famous. He just wants to drink throughout 90% of the movie. His addiction dictates his life--and that would cause a downward spiral, yesiree. By all accounts he would have been more successful had he not imbibed early on.

And when he says "a buncha people you probably never heard of," he's being smug, but he's also commenting on the state of country music, which is deeply divided by old-style and new. Young fans (generalization here) don't listen to the old (pre 1950s) stuff. The old stuff is really raw and moving (if you like that sort of thing--it drives some people to drink). The new country is like that Blues Hammer scene in "Ghost World."

Pretty accurate depiction of an addict as supreme fuck up. It's a country-music cliche but Jeff Bridges is a grounded guy and he made it real for me. Now all right people--are you ready to Boo-gaaay!?


i think your review, rich, is colored by the fact that you don't (presumably) listen to older country music or know much about it, which is totally understandable (most people don't). i'm not pretending i do either, but i do know about musicians like townes van zandt and i agree with the commenter above that it was mostly based on him. in that way, through that prism, i felt i could understand where this man was coming from and get into the story, though it is hackneyed, but then, of course it is, because it's based on real people amalgamated into one. we knew that going in, at least if we read any press.

bad (horrible name choice!) is just trying to find a way to keep going and to make enough money to keep going, to try to maybe make things right that he got wrong before. trying to break the cycle of addiction. because of my personal enjoyment of old country and the old country scene (watch be here to love me or heartworn highways if you want to see something Real), i found the film enjoyable in a lite way (though i agree it's nothing fantastic), and i still really liked reading your review (as always) and think many of your points are well taken. overall, i agree with the poster above who was surprised not that you disliked it but by how passionately you disliked the film. i also agree with miss lisa above. holla!


Jeff Bridges has said in interviews that, despite his superficial resemblance to Kris Kristofferson, the character has nothing to do with him and is actually largely based on Townes van Zandt, as many people noted above.

Van Zandt was a gifted musician and a raging alcoholic, who fucked up everything he ever came in contact with and died in his early fifties. Kristofferson, despite battles with substance abuse, achieved a high level of success in music; he also came from a much more privileged and academic background - he was a Rhodes scholar and was on his way to West Point to take a job as an English professor when he decided to go to Nashville instead. Actually, his life might make a much more interesting movie.

I agree that this review is perceptive, but may also be coloured by fact that this music is not your thing. I am a big fan of old country music, and despite the stereotypes that I've seen in previews, I will watch this film for myself to see what it has to say about that world.


I have a feeling that if I ever saw this film, (and I pray I never do,) that I will unlove it just about as much as that other pretentious-yet-pandering ode to the heroically grizzled straight white male alcoholic failure, Leaving Las Vegas. A film that made me want to put my fist through my TV screen and then call the cable company to demand my money back for the month.

Every single thing I know about this movie makes my inner voice scream "I DON'T CARE!!"


yep, as others have said, if you like music of the Van Zandt/Steve Earle/Emmylou Harris variety, you'll like the music parts, but you hear basically all the songs in the first 20 minutes. I had a hard time sticking it out to the end of the movie. I'm not particularly glad I did. Second movie I've seen where I wished Maggie Gyllenhall's character would die (luckily it happened in Stranger Than Fiction). Listen to the soundtrack, skip the movie.


You have no soul, my friend. I weep for you. I friggin' LOVED this movie.

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