Living out here in the sticks makes you especially thankful for your Netflix account. There’s no video store within 30 miles, so when my red envelope arrives and we have a free evening, it’s a bit of an event.
A few days ago, Crazy Heart showed up. Now, I love Jeff Bridges and Maggie Gyllenhaal and everyone agrees Colin Farrell is one of the cutest guys in creation, but when Robert Duvall showed up in the middle of the movie as Bad Blake’s best friend, I was especially pleased. Great characters, great story line, really great movie.
But you know who my favorite character was? The scenery and spirit of New Mexico. The movie was primarily filmed in New Mexico, and without that setting, it wouldn’t have been nearly as moving and powerful. Bad Blake driving across lonesome highways with that New Mexico horizon in the distance – surprisingly beautiful as always. Hanging out in Espanola and Santa Fe and Galisteo under those clear skies, cottonwoods in the background – the landscape was as much an important part of the movie as anyone playing a part.
Jeff Bridges won an Oscar for this one, as did T Bone Burnett and Ryan Bingham (a Hobbs boy who knows how to write and sing a tune) for the theme song, The Weary Kind. I sorta think the New Mexico landscape should have been nominated for making the movie work and giving it the feel that was essential to Bad Blake’s eventual redemption. That final concert at the Santa Fe Opera was, as always, just another breathtaking look at a New Mexico sunset while Colin Farrell sang in the background.
Rent Crazy Heart. Put it in your Netflix queue. See if you can’t identify the scene locations. And see if you don’t agree with me that the landscape defines those characters as much as their dialogue does.
I think we’re going to have to watch The Milagro Bean Field War next – now there’s the quintessential New Mexico landscape film. . .