You 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.
Later, 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.
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” 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!
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.