In Defense of the Dude

Over at Encore's World of Film and TV, Andrew is running a bracket contest trying to determine the best performances in 90's films.  Instead of doing all the work himself, and to spread the love, he's asked fellow bloggers to write a defense of one of the performances.  On Thursday morning there will be a matchup between Annette Bening in American Beauty, who was wonderful, and Jeff Bridges in The Big Lebowski, who is the subject of this defense.

While there is an supreme following of The Big Lebowski, I wasn't a part of this for a very long time.  Several guys in college tried to convince me of its amazing quality, but I confess to falling asleep or not caring.  However, thanks to the Reel Insight Podcast, I got to take a more grown-up look at "The Dude".  And I have to say, I get it.  Jeff Bridges is amazing.  So much so that I've been known to describe his later performances as "the Dude does X" depending on his character.  He embodied the character of Jeff Lebowski, aka "The Dude", so well that it's actually hard to separate the performance from the actor.  In some instances that's not a good thing, but in this case it pretty much gives Jeff Bridges a chance to do anything he wants and promote a previous film at the same time.

What gives The Dude so much character?  He wears a bathrobe.  He likes to drink white Russians (vodka, Kahlua, and cream).  He is a pretty damn good bowler.  His best friend (sort of) is John Goodman.  He's got a goatee.  He wears sunglasses most of the time (I would too if all my liquid came from alcohol).  What more could you want in a friend?  Perhaps the laid-back attitude that might get you the nickname, "The Dude".  Totally worth it.   Vote for him on Andrew's site on Thursday!


  1. I've truthfully never been as fascinated by the Dude as so many, but I'm always so intrigued by the way Bridges performance seems to affect so many.

    (And who else could play the character, right?)

  2. Andrew, I agree. It took me a long time to really get on board, but now I know he's so terrific. I'm not exactly sure what it took for me to go from outside to loving him, but I guess it just happens.


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