All I knew was that it was about a washed-up, alcoholic country singer who once was pretty famous, and that Jeff Bridges won the Oscar. Uh … can anyone say Tender Mercies? I wasn’t really falling all over myself to see it. So I was pleasantly surprised when Robert Duvall showed up as one of Bad Blake’s old friends. I only wish he had been Mac Sledge, the role he won the Oscar for, but you can’t have everything. But even before that, Jeff Bridges had won me over. It’s an understated, controlled performance, with desperate emotion running just below the surface. He’s drinking himself to death and he knows it and mostly he doesn’t really care. But then he meets Maggie Gyllenhaal (who is always good) and her four-year-old son, and things begin to look up for him. Of course, he screws up, big time. He does find his redemption, though don’t look for a completely “happy” ending. But it’s the proper, true ending for the film.