It was the end of her long night as host of Louis Vuitton’s Saks Fifth Avenue launch party in midtown, but Maggie Gyllenhaal lit up when asked about her new film, “Crazy Heart.”
“I think it’s my favorite film I’ve made,” Gyllenhaal said of “Crazy Heart,” a character portrait that stars Jeff Bridges as washed-up country singer Bad Blake. After early Oscar buzz, the film is being rushed into theaters in December to qualify for awards season.
“It is a little movie that is really about things, that’s complicated,” Gyllenhaal said. “They don’t make them like that any more.”
Gyllenhaal plays a journalist and single-mom who falls for Bridges’ character, and said it was the first movie since she completely threw herself into since the birth of her daughter. “Working with Jeff Bridges — It was how it’s supposed to be,” she said. “It was five-page-long complicated deep scenes that we were allowed to play in a hundred different ways. It was like a movie from the ’70s.”
The growing Oscar chatter at first rattled Gyllenhaal, almost prompting superstitious fears. But when she re-watched some scenes recently, “it just calmed me. I just thought, Oh, I love this movie. It just calmed me about all the rest of it.”
The star lent her shine to an already-glitzy affair to fete the launch of Louis Vuitton’s new ready-to-wear boutique and their 2010 cruise collection. Serena Williams and model Arlenis Sosa were also in attendance. A wishing tree sprouted in a corner (someone wished for their p.r. company’s health), models sat at a decked-out dinner table chatting and posing for camera phone shots, and in an inspired vignette, three Vuitton artisans imported from Paris cobbled and hand-painted Vuitton trunks while people circled with Champagne flutes. Surrounded by trees, moss and greenery, the artisans suggested latter-day luxe Keebler elves.
For all the high-glitz factor, the push was ultimately about nudging people to buy. “I think it’s good to be celebrating in a tough economic environment,” said Saks Fifth Avenue president CEO Stephen Sadove, “to let loose and celebrate a great evening.”
In a story from Variety, it looks like Fox Searchlight is going to bring out the Jeff Bridges-Maggie Gyllenhaal film Crazy Heart on December 16. The studio wants to make it available for an awards run.
Scott Cooper directed this project.
Crazy Heart tells the tale of boozing and beat-up country singer Bad Blake (Bridges), who finds who he really is with the help of a young journalist (Gyllenhaal).
Cooper adapted the script from Thomas Cobb’s novel. Robert Duvall also stars is this film.
Fox Searchlight bought the film in July.
We knew Fox Searchlight was in love with “Crazy Heart,” the low-budget country music drama that stars Jeff Bridges as a faded, booze-fueled singer named Bad Blake who’s trying to get his career back on track. Written and directed by first-time filmmaker Scott Cooper, the film costars Maggie Gyllenhaal (playing a small-town reporter), Robert Duvall and Colin Farrell.
Searchlight acquired the film in July, taking it off the market with a low seven-figure bid, enamored by the film’s acting and nuanced storytelling. Its original plan was to release the movie in the spring of 2010. But the studio must be smelling award-season gold, because my sources say the movie is moving into Oscar territory, with Searchlight now planning a limited Dec. 11 release in Los Angeles and New York before taking the film wider early next year.
Since Searchlight’s only serious Oscar contender, as of now, is its well-reviewed summer release, “(500) Days of Summer,” the studio must be betting that Bridges — always a favorite with the academy, especially as he’s aged into Nick Nolte-style gray-bearded grizzly guy — could land some best actor nominations. Searchlight suddenly sent out screening notices today, another tipoff that the movie is looking for some early word-of-mouth enthusiasm from the blogosphere.
My favorite movie-music magician, T Bone Burnett, supervised the film’s soundtrack, so I’m betting it will have some real C&W authenticity. As soon as I get a chance to see it, I’ll report in on whether we’ve got another serious Oscar candidate or not.