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We’ve already tipped our hat to Jeff Bridges, and he’ll probably be getting all the praise he needs come Sunday. But at the risk of piling on, we thought we’d pay our respects to an icon that’s drifted out of the public eye: the drunken rambler.

Check amongst yourselves…

It’s one of the reasons that, despite a few less-than-perfect patches, Crazy Heart’s Bad Blake stands out. He’s a familiar face—Merle Haggard in particular leaps to mind—but there have been versions shambling around the country for as long as there’s been whiskey to fuel them. The cowboy style is part of it, but there’s a lot more going on. Watch the beard, the sunken eyes and the lazy physicality. Bridges has it down, partially because he’s been working a more urbane version of the same schtick his whole career.

And if, during the awards, you find yourself wondering why Crazy Heart was such a plum role instead of just one more movie about a penitent wild man, that’s a good place to start.

—R.B.

CONTRIBUTORS

  • Russell Brandom