As much as Country Western music is derided, there’s something romantic about its weathered subject matter. An ambling loner in a bar, a whiskey and a beer, a battered jukebox. It’s cliche, but it’s also purely American, and this is I think is what allows it to transcend a genre so many people love to hate. This archetype forms the basis of Crazy Heart, written and directed by Scott Cooper in his debut behind the camera. Following that lone figure through the travails of his older years, the film surveys the modern American West lifestyle as well as the broader themes of a washed-up musician, tiredly yearning for his glory days.