best film: The Big Lebowski. It’s always a great sign for an actor or actress when their best film lines up with their best performance. The Big Lebowski is a comic masterpiece that ranks amongst not only the best all-time comedies, but the best all-time noirs, films of the 90’s, and films from the Coen brothers. That’s saying something. The Last Picture Show from Bogdanovich is Bridges’ next best film.

best performance:  The Big Lebowski. Jeff Bridges is “The Dude” and kudos for him to emerge from this cult classic and have some a brilliant 21st century so far. His Oscar win (Crazy Heart), two of his best five films (True Grit, Hell or High Water) all come well after The Big Lebowski. It’s a big role and it takes a hell of an actor and performances to be the cool center of the film’s wild narrative and not be bowled over by talented (and showier) cohorts and co-actors like John Goodman, Julianne Moore, John Turturro and Phillip Seymour Hoffman.

stylistic innovations/traits: Jeff Bridges has had a long career with now seven Oscar Nominations (spread over 5 decades- skipping the 90’s oddly enough which is his best decade—both of his top two performances). He’s often known for playing western/southern/rural characters. He’s also, largely, been a lead for most of 19 archiveable films.  It’s sort of his bad luck that the one Cimino film he wasn’t in was Deer Hunter and that he didn’t hook up with Sidley Lumet or Francis Ford Coppola until the late stages he did. On the flip side, he’s in one of the best Coen brothers films and is working with Terry Gilliam at his artistic (or very near) peak in The Fisher King.

directors worked with:   Cimino (2), Coen (2) and then Bogdanovich, Huston, Lumet, Coppola and Gilliam all once

Top 5 Performances:

  1. The Big Lebowski
  2. The Fisher King
  3. A Crazy Heart
  4. Fearless
  5. Hell or High Water

Archiveable films

1971- The Last Picture Show
1972- Bad Company
1972- Fat City
1974- Thunderbolt and Lightfoot
1980- Heaven’s Gate
1981- Cutter’s Way
1985- Jagged Edge
1986- The Morning After
1988- Tucker: A Man and His Dream
1991- The Fisher King
1992- American Heart
1993- Fearless
1998- The Big Lebowski
2000- The Contender
2003- Seabiscuit
2004- The Door in the Floor
2009- A Crazy Heart
2010- True Grit
2016- Hell or High Water