5 Nights of Jeff Bridges

5 Nights of Jeff Bridges

Dec 17, 2010

The respected, Dude-like actor critic Pauline Kael once noted "may be the most natural and least self-conscious screen actor that has ever lived" reprises his role as Kevin Flynn in the new Tron: Legacy this week, and in a few days will have the Oscar-baiting Coen brothers remake True Grit in theaters. Want even MORE Jeff Bridges? If you haven't seen these of his past films in awhile, use the next five nights before True Grit opens (Dec. 22) to revisit a cross-section of the man's career of classics. (After, of course, you've seen Legacy in theaters.)

Friday: Starman (1984)
Bridges received a Best Actor Academy Award nomination for his role as an alien who crash-lands into the life of a widow (Karen Allen) and clones into her dead husband. Director John Carpenter deftly directs this sci-fi romance that became one of the year's most popular (and enduring) films.

Saturday: The Big Lebowski (1998)
Who doesn't love The Dude? Bridges's most iconic role (directed by the Coen brothers) has him playing a pot-smoking loser who becomes the victim of mistaken identity that sets off a chain of bizarre events. After a lukewarm reception, Lebowski has become a cult favorite, with ardent followers establishing the annual Lebowski Fest convention and The Church of the Latter-Day Dude, which has ordained some 50,000 "Dudeist" priests.

Sunday: Fearless (1993)
Peter Weir's profoundly moving drama about loss, life, change, and dumping one's baggage (well, literally, even--the story follows Bridges's plane crash survivor and how the trauma changes his existence) features one of the actor's best performances. Watch as he envelops two different people: Max Klein the man who will brave any fear, and Max Klein the man haunted by a tragedy that he can never forget.

Monday: The Last Picture Show (1971)
Bridges earned his first Oscar nomination, Best Supporting Actor, for his Duane Jackson, a fairly dislikeable but good-looking popular Texas high school senior who dates the prettiest girl in town (Cybill Shepherd). This coming-of-age drama was directed by Peter Bogdanovich, with whom the actor is discussing making another sequel (the first was 1990's Texasville).

Tuesday: The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989)
You may only think of Michelle Pfeiffer in a red dress husking old standards from atop a Steinway, but revisit this one for Bridges's outstanding job as one-half of a down-and-out lounge act that winds up in a tangled triangle of sibling rivalry and solo breakouts. Playing off his real-life brother Beau, Jeff is the sexy cynic; unattainable, edgy and tightly wound.

What’s your favorite Jeff Bridges movie? Sound off below.

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Tags: Jeff Bridges
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