I’m in my Jeff Bridges phase now

Jeff Bridges in Crazy HeartYou know, I have these phases, in which I explore a work of one artist. It can be addictive and annoying to people around me, because- let’s face it- not everybody likes to watch one actor’s full filmography, or listen certain albums and songs over and over again. Oh well.

I’m in my Jeff Bridges phase right now. I don’t know how it started, probably after his Oscar win, but the real reason that I’ve been sick and had to rest, and what’s better than watching the movies in your collection (or, in this case, my husband’s collection).

I really liked Bridges before, but I haven’t seen many of his films. Well, that’s something that needed to be changed.

Jeff Bridges was never really a huge movie star, despite being a good actor and getting a few Oscar nominations early in his career. Plus, it’s not that he was unpleasant to look at. In his 20s and especially 30s, he was reasonably attractive: at 6′ 2” and slim, he made many women swoon after him, despite the fact that, definitely, he was never what is called “conventionally handsome”. But there’s something incredibly sweet and charming and almost innocent about him, something in his eyes, maybe, and those are one of the rare things, things that make people look like good beings.

Yeah, well, that's just, like, your opinion, manLater, he gained weight and embraced The Dude in him- and became even more awesome than he was before. And he kept sweetness and innocence in his eyes. Truly a rare gift.

Older, chubby Jeff was even more loved and appreciated among fans- and critics liked him too: even if reviews of a movie were bad, most of them praised his acting skills. We all know I am not crazy about the Oscars, but I am happy he won this year.

Unforgettable

Some of the memorable performances I like the most.

First, often forgotten “American Heart”. The movie is not for everybody, but I liked it, and Jeff was amazing, so the fact nobody knows about this movie makes me a bit angry. In case you want to know, this is where one of the most popular Jeff’s images comes from.

There is also “The Fisher King” and again, it’s not for everybody, and it’s made in a distinctive style, and I liked it and I loved Jeff’s performance. Some focus on Robin Williams, but to me, Jeff’s portrayal was the key. It was subtle (while not appearing as such), and complex. There’s a scene early in the movie, when he hears a terrible news on TV. The focus is on his face, and his eyes are terrified, and he speaks with us with just his eyes; and we can read all the fear and all the shock and all the emotions in them. Simply unforgettable.

And of course, there is Dude, legendary Dude- and don’t say you didn’t expect this. He virtually lived the Dude and I am sure this one doesn’t need an explanation. But as much as I love “The Big Lebowski” and Jeff as the Dude, there is one performance and one movie I like more.

Starman“Starman” stole my heart, so to speak, with its innocence and unforgettable characters. The story of a gentle alien who clones himself into a young widow’s husband is not original, and the film itself has a B-movie touch. But this is a fairytale, a road movie fairytale, and it’s so touching, poignant and nostalgic that it makes you forget about all the imperfections in the film.

It’s about the characters, and Jeff and Karen Allen made such a strong and believable couple, one of the best I’ve seen. But more than anything, this movie owes its quality to Jeff’s acting. He is simply incredible here, no other words to describe it. His take on alien who is adjusting to his new body and new environment is so believable, it’s impossible to even imagine there’s anything but an alien in the body that resembles young Jeff Bridges. He really deserved his Oscar nomination and, while there are many other great roles, and more legendary ones (read: The Dude), this is definitely my favourite.

While watching this film, you can only admire his acting… And then forget about the acting and you connect to the characters strongly, and in the end the movie gives you hope and fills you with sweet nostalgia and even makes you remember some dear moments you thought you forgot a long time ago. Definitely my favourite Jeff’s film.

Random (but important) bits

Jeff Bridges’ official site is the most original official site I’ve seen, full of doodles, amazing photographs and random stuff. Truly unique.

The Dude’s “Yeah, well, that’s just, like, your opinion, man” gotta be one of the strongest inspirational quotes in movie history.

I never payed attention before, but now I see there are tons of Jeff fans in Serbia. Female fans, if you know what I mean. I knew he was loved as an actor, but I had no idea so many Serbian girls and women had a thing for him. Yes, even now, and he’s in his 60s.

He is Jeff and this website has a special love for all Jeffs that rule. Edit: I just found out his full name is Jeffrey Leon. I’m shocked and amazed!

Links

JeffBridges.com – Dude’s website.

Jeff and Karen Allen singing “All I Have To Do Is Dream” from “Starman”.
– Some people say it’s the most embarrassing music video ever made (and it’s not like I don’t see their point), but I think it’s sweet.

The Top 10 Jeff Bridges Performances – A very good list, even without some memorable performances. But generally I agree with the list (top places especially).

5 For the Day: Jeff Bridges – One of the most beautiful things ever written about Jeff Bridges.

12 thoughts on “I’m in my Jeff Bridges phase now

  1. Mariana

    I want to watch Crazy Heart, I do it every year after the Oscars, I go after all nominated movies. And that’s usually how some of my obsessions start.

    I only watched 2 of his movies, Iron Man and Surf’s Up (I do not count The Contender because I never finished it) but I want to watch more. =)

    His website is really cool indeed.

    I’m not in a “actor phase” right now. My Gary phase never passed but I had some other phases at the same time. =)

  2. Emma

    hi,

    it’s always nice to hear theres another person who appreciates Jeff bridges talent, charisma and general awesomeness!

    Jeff is one of the greatest actors out there and despite all the awards he was often painfully underrated and almost forgotten. he’s not a movie star, he’s and actor, a very talented one indeed. he doesnt need constant spotlight to shine. like you said, his eyes speak volumes and he can show all the emotions using only them. that being said, i dont mind him speaking, since i find his voice powerful and seductive.

    but I must disagree with this:

    “definitely, he was never what is called “conventionally handsome”.

    WHAT are you talking about? This guy’s hot. You have some weird standards.

    Tell me, isnt THIS conventionally handsome by all standards:

    http://www.moviestore.com/library/photos/266/266285.jpg

    Or:

    http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/hphotos-ak-snc3/hs082.snc3/15027_10150146972995705_560615704_11324919_1081095_n.jpg

    http://www.moviestore.com/library/photos/135/13580.jpg

    Just because he was always so down to earth doesnt mean he wasn’t hot. but no matter, he is a talented actor and i am glad people FINALLY start to realize how good he is.

    I agree about the Starman, he gave a strong performance and one of the best in his career. for other great performance you didnt list here, check out The Door in the Floor.

    And for undeniable HOTNESS watch Against All Odds (if you dont mind sex scenes), you wont be disappointed (trust me!)

    one question- why do you find name Jeffrey Leon so shocking?

    sorry about the rambling… huge Jeff fan here speaking.

    Cheers,
    Emma

  3. Mira

    @Mariana

    “Crazy Hearth” is worth a watch, but that’s all. Honestly, there’s nothing special about that movie except for Jeff’s performance and music. I don’t know, there’s something lacking. It’s a movie that wants to be “The Wrestler”, but fails.

    But Jeff was great, as usual and it’s definitely worth a watch. But he had better roles and much better movies.

    HIGHLY RECOMMENDED:

    The Big Lebowski- I can’t believe you haven’t seen THAT one! It’s done in the usual Coen brothers style, so I don’t know if it’s something you like, but it’s amazing on so many levels. Yes, it’s funny, but it’s even better if you watch it as a social critique of American society. Jeff Bridges was amazing as the Dude.

    Starman- You have to watch this one, especially given the fact you said you liked romantic movies. Well, this one is a bit dated, and it does have 80s feel in special effects and music, and the story is cliche- but it doesn’t really matter since it’s a fairytale, and it’s beautiful and poignant on so many levels. Jeff’s performance was weird but amazing. You gotta give this one a chance!!!

    Other great performances and movies: Peter Weir’s “Fearless”, “The Fisher King” (if you don’t mind Terry Gilliam’s style), classic “The Last Picture Show” and “American Heart”. People say he was also amazing in “The Door in the Floor”, but I yet have to watch that one.

    I hope you could… um, “find” at least some of these movies (if you know what I mean).

  4. Mira

    @Emma

    Velcome to my website and thanks for commenting!

    You’re right about the difference between “movie star” and an “actor”. Too much fame don’t do good to anyone, and, as much as I’m glad Jeff finally got his Oscar, I don’t really care about the spotlight.

    his eyes speak volumes and he can show all the emotions using only them. that being said, i dont mind him speaking, since i find his voice powerful and seductive.

    True, he has such expressive eyes (which is interesting, because they’re small and “piggy eyes” type, if you don’t mind me saying this).

    But there’s something incredible deep in them, something I can’t describe- I tried that by saying “it’s something that makes people gentle beings”, but I could also said “make people look like animals”. Animals, not in a sense of “wild and inhumane”, but in a way of “innocent and unspoiled beings”.

    I get that from Jeff and that’s why he’s so good in communicating with his eyes, and so amazing when he plays fragile beings.

    As for his voice, he has a deep voice, and I like men with deep voices, so it’s definitely a plus.

    As for beauty standards, thanks for the images, they are great (especially the first one… Gotta love Starman!) but I don’t know… I guess a) I was never really into blond/ blue eyes guys and b) I like and respect Jeff too much to find him simply hot.

    I’ll watch “The Door in the Floor” (actually, it’s on TV tonight) and post what I think. As for “Against All Odds”, no, of course I don’t mind sex scenes :D, but handsome Jeff or not, I can hardly like a movie simply because there’s a hot actor in it. Is there anything else interesting about that movie?

    one question- why do you find name Jeffrey Leon so shocking?

    There’s nothing wrong with that name. It’s just way too similar to my website name (jefflion.net), that’s why I was surprised. Needles to say, my site’s name has nothing to do with Jeff Bridges. Still, it’s a cute coincidence.

  5. Alex

    I never thought much about Jeff Bridges, but he does seem like a nice, laid back guy. and he’s a great actor!

    But what’s wrong with “Crazy Heart”? It was a good movie imo.

    i watched Big Lebowski a while ago, but i must admit I didn’t get the appeal. What’s so special about it? Yeah, i know its a cult movie and all, but seriously, I didn’t find it to be THAT funny.

    I remember Starman but i don’t remember Jeff Bridges performance. I had no idea he was Oscar nominated for that one. Whats so special about it? I thought it was a movie for kids.

    I don’t want to sound like a hater. Jeff seems like a really down to Earth guy and he’s very creative (I like his photographs) and a he’s a great actor.

    Emma, thanks for the photos, that second one is amazing and he was good looking back in the day. Weird nose, but good looking guy. i didn’t find his voice particularly deep when he was younger, but maybe that’s just me. I just dont find him attractive today, its weird, he could be my dad (he’s 60, isn’t it!) He seems like a generally nice guy, unspoiled by the fame and that’s what I like about him.

    I’ll sound shallow but my favorite Jeff movie was Iron Man. True, I’m a RDJ fan so that must be a reason! I also liked- don’t laugh!- The Fabulous Baker Boys (Michelle was amazing in it!) and even that romantic comedy with Barbra Streisand. Jeff was really cute there, but that’s just me, i like geeky men.

    I haven’t seen the Fisher King or American Heart. tell me, are the movies themselves good, or just Bridges performances?

    funny, I always thought you named your site after a guy named Jeff, but i thought it was someone you know, not a celebrity.

  6. Mira

    @Alex

    But what’s wrong with “Crazy Heart”? It was a good movie imo.

    It was an ok movie, but nothing SPECIAL. What made it good and watchable was Jeff Bridges performance and the music. It wasn’t the worst movie in history, it was decent, but nothing special, nothing particularly memorable. Jeff’s performance and music saved it. Just my opinion, of course.

    i watched Big Lebowski a while ago, but i must admit I didn’t get the appeal. What’s so special about it?

    The Big Lebowski is a Coen brothers film, done in their usual style. It’s not for everybody. Indeed, the plot is all over the place (but doesn’t go anywhere), humor is subjective and some things appear to be just way too random.

    But to me, it isn’t really about jokes or even a story- it’s about the characters and the dynamics of their (and therefore, our) world.

    What I like about Coen brothers is that they make a movie that, on the surface, looks like a typical genre movie (in this case, detective story, film noir or whatever). But in fact, it isn’t.

    We have its colorful characters- and I love movies where absolutely nobody is normal. First, we have His Dudeness, who is not only one of the mos iconic characters in movie history but also an epitome of everything that American society hates (not working hard, not trying to “do something out of his life”, and dares to be happy the way he is). He’s the key- he’s the guy that many people wants to be, but are scared to (because he’s irresponsible unemployed pothead- and he’s okay with that). I think what I like most about him is precisely that- he is satisfied with his life and he likes himself the way he is. Then we have other crazy characters, from Walter to Maude and Jackie Treehorn, every single one of them tells something about our world. And the most important plot is not a detective story but character dynamics and the world it portrays.

    All in all, I enjoy The Big Lebowski as a social critique more than a “funny movie”. Maybe I should do a deeper analysis of the movie?

    I remember Starman but i don’t remember Jeff Bridges performance. I had no idea he was Oscar nominated for that one. Whats so special about it? I thought it was a movie for kids.

    “Starman” is, arguably, the best Jeff Bridges performance. The movie itself is silly but poignant and sweet- a fairytale not just for kids, but for adults as well. (It’s more for the adults anyway, with its theme now when I think about it). A small 80s movie, but definitely worth a watch!

    Now, back to Bridges. Like I said, I consider it to be his best performance, and I am not alone in my thinking. How can you play an alien who’s getting used to a human body anyway? I don’t know how he did it, but he made me believe he’s an alien in young Jeff Bridges’ body. His movements are birdlike and almost robotic- but they change over the course of the movie. In the end, they are more human like, but never, not in any scene, perfectly human- there is always something about him that suggest that this person is not a human.

    The performance may seem formulaic and simple (that’s why some were confused by Jeff’s Oscar nomination), but if you look closely, he did a perfect job in portraying his character. He made us believe he wasn’t human. He made us believe he’s a creature learning not just human customs but also how to use human body. And with all of that, he managed to make this creature innocent, vulnerable and emotional.

    How he managed to make Starman both strange (birdlike head movements and weird speech patterns) and lovable (childlike innocence and deep emotions) is beyond me- but he did it, and not in any second of the movie you suspect to watch Jeff Bridges in a role. So yes, he was young back then, and F. Murray Abraham was probably incredible beyond words in “Amadeus”, so I understand why he didn’t get the Oscar back then. Still, it doesn’t change the fact it was Jeff’s strongest performance and one of the best I’ve seen. (I can’t help thinking that he would earn even more praise if he played an autistic person instead of an alien- I guess some people can’t grasp the concept of “realistic alien portrayal”. But just watch the film again and tell me if you thought Jeff character was fully human at any point of the movie- except videos of Karen Allen’s late husband, of course).

    Here’s a movie clip:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XPNQNE87eQ0

  7. Mira

    Oh, an to continue with my answer (yeees, I like posting long comments :D)

    @Alex

    Emma, thanks for the photos, that second one is amazing and he was good looking back in the day. Weird nose, but good looking guy. i didn’t find his voice particularly deep when he was younger, but maybe that’s just me.

    Actually, I believe he changes his voice pitch for a character. It has nothing to do with age. For example, his voice is noticeably higher in The Big Lebowski (EVERYTHING about his character is high in that movie), but in other movies, such as The Fisher King, his voice is deep. His usual voice is reasonably deep, I’d say.

    And what’s wrong with his nose?!? It matches his face perfectly.

    I also liked- don’t laugh!- The Fabulous Baker Boys (Michelle was amazing in it!) and even that romantic comedy with Barbra Streisand.

    The Fabulous Baker Boys was an ok movie, but it didn’t blow me away. As for the movie with Barbra, I’m sorry, but whenever I think of her, I think of South Park and Mecha Streisand! (and I usually start singing the “theme” song.. Baaaarbraaaa, Baaaaarbraaaa… Roooobert Smiiith, Roooobert Smiiith). That being said, Jeff’s character, Gregory Larkin, was adorable, I like geeky men and he was really handsome in that role (be it almost 50 or not).

    I haven’t seen the Fisher King or American Heart. tell me, are the movies themselves good, or just Bridges performances?

    Both are good movies. The Fisher King is one of the best Terry Gilliam films and I don’t understand why it’s so underrated. Sure, it is full of the usual, off beat Gilliam stuff, weird characters, strange settings and distinctive movie framing… But it’s an excellent movie. It’s not just about overcoming horrors and fighting insanity, it’s also about, well, life. And it has some of the very realistic portrayals of a relationship between a woman who is trying too hard and a guy who simply doesn’t give a shit. Definitely a must see.

    American Hero is a small but serious movie, and Jeff’s performance is one of the best in his career. Too bad this movie is forgotten. He plays an ex con trying to be a father to his teenage son. The movie is depressing but it’s worth the trouble because it’s really good and, like I said, Jeff’s performance is one of the best in his career. (With only the Dude and Starman being better, really). His performance is better, imo, than the one he gave in Crazy Heart- and he was amazing in Crazy Heart. Definitely a must see movie if you can find it (and handle it).

    funny, I always thought you named your site after a guy named Jeff, but i thought it was someone you know, not a celebrity.

    I don’t know anybody named Jeff. The site was named after an inside joke, so to speak- I laughed so hard at a stupid, stupid image I found on the Internet (and I wasn’t stoned!) so I thought it would be cool to name my site after a random, absurd thing.

  8. Emma

    I’d like to share something with you. This is one of the most beautiful things ever written about Jeff Bridges:

    http://www.slantmagazine.com/house/2008/05/5-for-the-day-jeff-bridges/

    Their choice of movies is similar to yours and I hope you’ll like it.

    And yes, by all means, you should do a TBL review! i’d love to read it.

    Alex: give the Big Lebowski another chance. there’s so much more in that movie besides the obvious jokes.

    Mira, you didn’t write about the door in the floor. Did you watch it? What do you think about the movie? some people find it confusing but i love jeff’s performance!

    now, back to the girl stuff if you don’t mind.

    Seriously. He’s breathtaking.

    http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-snc1/v322/133/124/506777123/n506777123_901732_2708.jpg

    And I think he looks just fine now, really. hes over sixty but look at his hair! no receding hairline or anything.

    http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l1g1f10WXt1qbdwtdo1_400.jpg

    im not a huge fan of long hair so I’m not crazy about the Fisher King look. But i must admit the Dude was kinda hot, believe it or not. i don’t mind him being overweight, after all, its The Dude!

    And. There’s. Nothing. Weird. About. His. Nose.

    (end of girly stuff. for now).

  9. Mira

    Emma,

    Thank you so much for that link. It is an incredible article and yes, one of the best things I’ve ever read about Jeff Bridges. So touching.

    You can tell that the author is a true admirer of guy’s work, and I like her (it is a she, right?) observations about the movies. She’s even right about the Baker boys!- he was the object of desire and poor Michelle didn’t really know what to do about it. True, I liked the choice of movies, only I’d replace Baker Boys with Starman- I’d really love to read their thoughts on that movie, since it’s my fav Jeff’s performance.

    Once again, thanks for the link: I’ll add it to the links section in this post and on my tumbl.

    And yes, by all means, you should do a TBL review! i’d love to read it.

    I was only joking. I am not sure if the world needs yet another Big Lebowski analysis. After all, the best thing about that movie is the fact it doesn’t take itself too seriously. That being said, yes, it worked better for me as a social study than a comedy, but I think over analyzing would make it lose its charm.

    Mira, you didn’t write about the door in the floor. Did you watch it?

    Yes, I watched it and I loved it. It’s a serious movie and Jeff was fucking amazing. I was planning on writing about the movie in a few days: I want to start writing movie posts in a form of “good movie – bad movie” I watched recently. “The Door in the Floor” would probably be the first good movie, and I already have a bad movie candidate. (Several, actually).

    And I think he looks just fine now, really. hes over sixty but look at his hair!

    True. The guy has an amazing hair. And since I’m one of those females who adore hair, I must say: way to go, Jeff. True, it’s genetics and not something he achieved by hard work, but it’s nice to see a 60 year old guy with such a nice hair.

    im not a huge fan of long hair so I’m not crazy about the Fisher King look.

    I’m the opposite. I like long hair on men. Yes, even the horrible 80s haircuts! I don’t care. I always had a thing for guys with long hair.

    Needless to say, I dig The Fisher King look (even though Jack Lucas annoys me).

    http://29.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l1ik1yBzAZ1qbg9xgo1_250.jpg

    http://sphotos.ak.fbcdn.net/photos-ak-sf2p/v309/31/123/1385323187/n1385323187_30048142_9279.jpg

    Yup, definitely the style I like.

    But i must admit the Dude was kinda hot, believe it or not.

    Believe it or not? What’s wrong with the Dude? Dude’s hot, imo, one of his hottest characters. Nothing can beat Starman in my book, but the Dude is definitely good looking (I like his fashion style and his hair). Enough for me.

  10. Hugh

    Actually, Bridges is more on the 6’1″ side, maybe even 6′ today.

    And gimme a break, girls! You don’t really want me to believe you actually find the Dude hot! Maybe you think he’s cool because he’s played by Jeff, but theres no way you’d choose an overweight guy who wears freaking jellies instead of a tall&handsome six pack guy.

    Now, Jeff’s cool, man. Nothing against the Dude. I had no idea women found him attractive.

    I still have to see Crazy Heart. Maggie Maggie Gyllenhaal is smokin’ hot.

  11. Emma

    thank you for posting the link I sent. it’s a great article and yes the author is a she.

    Baker Boys was a good movie and so underrated.

    Mira, i like the way you write about Jeff, so please dont get me wrong- but i believe what you said about his eyes was kinda disrespectful. Are you aware his eyes look somwehat Asian? would you call Asian eyes small and piggy eyes? i hope not.

    Eyes:
    Young:
    http://i213.photobucket.com/albums/cc23/DoorQPictures/starman582a.jpg

    Old(er):
    http://nygossipgirl.com/blog5/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/BridgesJeff.JPG

    But i agree with the rest. i dont like long haired men but that first Fisher King pic is hot.

    cant wait for your Door in the Floor review!

    Hugh: and your point would be… ? theres no much of a difference between 6’1 and 6’2. the man is tall, face it.

    And i never said i’d take dude over a 6 pack guy, i already stated my Jeff of choice is Terry Brogan in Against All Odds, when he was all athletic and tanned.

    http://img2.timeinc.net/ew/dynamic/imgs/071004/hottiemen70s/bridges_l.jpg

    im just sayin the Dude has his charm, and hes confident, which is always attractive in a man. I certainly wouldn’t mind having some fun & games with him!

  12. Mira Post author

    @Hugh

    I agree with Emma: an inch doesn’t mean much… when it comes to man’s height. :D

    And gimme a break, girls! You don’t really want me to believe you actually find the Dude hot! Maybe you think he’s cool because he’s played by Jeff, but theres no way you’d choose an overweight guy who wears freaking jellies instead of a tall&handsome six pack guy.

    Actually, I am not crazy about “6 pack guys” (muscular etc). Seriously. A bit of a beer belly didn’t harm anyone. :P No, seriously, I consider skinny and a bit chubby guys to be more attractive. I see nothing wrong with the Dude, apart from facial hair. I even like his fashion sense (ok, jellies are questionable).

    @Emma

    Mira, i like the way you write about Jeff, so please dont get me wrong- but i believe what you said about his eyes was kinda disrespectful. Are you aware his eyes look somwehat Asian? would you call Asian eyes small and piggy eyes? i hope not.

    “Somewhat Asian”??? I have no idea what you’re talking about. Jeff doesn’t have round eyes, but many non-Asians don’t have round eyes. Did you mean on epicanthic fold? They are located on the inner (nasal) side of the eyes, and Jeff has different eyes. He seems to have his outer corners covered, so it’s a different kind of epicanthic fold than usually found in Asians. Nothing wrong with that. I already said I liked his eyes- they are so emotional and they speak volumes.

    In any case, I do think Jeff has somewhat small eyes- small for his facial features. It has nothing to do with the shape of his eyes. Also, Asians can have large or small eyes and it has nothing to do with their shape. I think you’re generalizing a bit. Not all Asians have similar eyes and I certainly don’t think just because someone is Asian his or her eyes must be small.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>