I followed this post from Althouse commentary on Iron Man–why would she go see that movie? I’d never have recommended it to her–and realized I couldn’t really do Jeff Bridges justice in the time I have available to blog today.
So I’ll do a mini-post, and a full one later on.
I first saw Bridges in the lamentable ‘70s remake of King Kong, and then watched in some kind of trance, the little known American Success Company. I mean, I watched that movie a lot, fascinated by the weird story of a sensitive man who pretends to be a mean double of himself, and essentially re-invents himself as this “bad boy” to please his childlike wife (Belinda Bauer) and to be successful in his father-in-law’s (Ned Beatty) business. It also features Bianca Jagger as a hooker on whom he practices his sexual skills.
The thing about Bridges is that he’s all over the place, and always turning up in unexpected places. He can do quirky, such as in The Big Lebowski, Fearless, or Starman, and K-PAX showed he could do the straight role against someone doing the space alien bit. But he’s also been a good everyman in The American Success Story or The Vanishing, the hard-boiled detective (Eight Million Ways To Die) or the President (The Contender).
And his films cover a wide assortment, from sci-fi (TRON) to comedy to drama – to that funky one where he’s the gymnastics coach (Stick It!). The only thing I don’t think I’ve ever seen him do is a western.
But he’s always enjoyable. Indeed, the real shame of Iron Man is that he didn’t have a bigger role and a secure place in the sequel.
So, until I have a chance to post a real paean, well, the Dude Abides.