Posted by: Joe Eds | January 18, 2010

The Dude was in

Jeff Bridges stopped by the American Cinematheque Aero Theater in Santa Monica on Saturday night, both Jeff and I were present. The theater played a double bill of the new Crazy Heart and The Big Lebowski. Jeff “The Dude” Dowd was also present to introduce Lebowski. Bridges did a good 30 minute q and a between films. Very at ease with himself, calm, laid back, didn’t mind the fanboy questions on Lebowski, spoke quite fondly about the creative team behind Heart, particularly T-Bone Burnett and the writer/director Scott Cooper. Quite a treat to see the Dude in person. The crowd had a great time seeing him (especially the ladies).

Jeff and I both asked a question. I actually opened with a congrats to Bridges for winning the BFCA Award the night before and the whole crowd applauded (point – Joe). I then asked him what film do most people come up and say, “I loved you in blank movie.” Bridges practically rolled his eyes and said, “C’mon man, Lebowski. No question.” And the crowd clapped some more. Jeff also got to ask a question, to paraphrase “So was there a specific moment when you realized The Big Lebowski had developed this cult following?” Bridges leaned in and said, “Have you heard of Lebowski Fest?” Jeff and I both said out loud “We’ve been to three!!!” He laughed and some of the audience behind us clapped. Bridges went on to say the image of him getting out of his car to attend Lebowski Fest then being swarmed by a crowd of “Dudes” was his “Beatles moment”.

Crazy Heart is a well-made film. The story of a down-and-out country singer who’s battling his inner demons and alcoholism. Very grounded arch that all pivots around Bridges who is terrific. The supporting performances from Maggie Gylenhall, Robert Duvall and Colin Farrel all top-notch. Comparisons will be made to The Wrestler, and frankly the themes and arch of the lead characters are similar in many respects, though Crazy Heart is not nearly as grim. Bridges certainly didn’t mind making himself look unflattering throughout the whole thing. And after winning Best Actor at the BFCA and Golden Globe Awards this past weekend he is the front-runner for the Oscar, if not a shoe in.


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