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You do something and they'll say 'that's not what I wanted'.To which I say 'well you put on my costume, you play my part, OK?
' Some directors will almost storyboard an entire film mentally.
I wanted it to be all about the behaviour and character of the actors." The effect can be seen in the economical, almost understated tone of Crazy Heart, which is full of sweeping panoramic views, and sparsely edited dialogue.
"I wanted it to come out of an era that I think to be the best decade of cinema in America, the 1970s, in which an actor's character and behaviour were more important than plot," he adds. Duvall said the script was constantly changed, through improvisation, and that the resulting movie is better for it.
This, give or take, is what happened to Crazy Heart, the tale of a washed-up former country-music star called Bad Blake [Jeff Bridges] who meanders across the American West in a tattered estate car, performing at small-town bars and bowling alleys, getting sozzled in shabby motels, and aimlessly jumping into bed with a dodgy succession of ageing groupies. And its narrative arc, which follows the singer's struggles with alcoholism and efforts to turn his life around, seems more than a little ponderous.
The film, in which Blake falls for a local journalist who comes to interview him, should really have never been made. More significantly, Crazy Heart's commercial profile raises a huge red flag.