Bridges, Gyllenhaal make raw connection

When the young aspiring journalist Jean Craddock (Maggie Gyllenhaal) goes to the motel room of aging, alcoholic country and western singer-songwriter Bad Blake (Jeff Bridges), she gets more than a newspaper interview. In a few minutes of what is, on the surface, a professional journalistic appointment, a different kind of encounter occurs. There’s the flirtation that happens naturally between an attractive young fan and a music star who is years past his prime but still in possession of much of his charm, if only a small portion of his former fame. And by the end of their meeting, we’ve seen and felt his weathered pride, the loneliness of her single motherhood and their fragile but potent connection which drives Blake’s slow but steady journey to reclaim his art and life back from the bottle that has taken ownership of both.

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