Searchlight backs Bridges’s “performance of a lifetime”

Posted by · 10:13 am · July 22nd, 2009

Jeff Bridges in Crazy HeartWhen I first began compiling my Oscar nomination predictions back in May, I took a wild-card Best Actor punt on Jeff Bridges in a little, then distributor-less indie called “Crazy Heart.”

In truth, I had little basis for the guess other than the strong reputation of the 1987 source novel, and the fact that Bridges is surely one of the most sorely Oscar-overdue actors in the business. Like Ed Harris, he’s one of those dependable American stalwarts, well-liked by all, who you think must win at some point, but rarely land roles showy enough for the winner’s circle.

“Crazy Heart,” however, gives Bridges the opportunity to play a washed-up, alcoholic country singer seeking to get his life and career back on track — now just count the Oscar hooks in that sentence. How can he lose?

So I was interested to see my idea given at least some credence by Fox Searchlight, who recently acquired global rights to the film for a seven-figure sum.

The film has an impressive cast, with Maggie Gyllenhaal, Colin Farrell and Robert Duvall (who can testify to the awards benefits of playing alcoholic country singers) all on board. But it seems Bridges is the one to watch, with Searchlight heads Nancy Utley and Steve Gilula describing his work as “the performance of a lifetime.”

So far, so good — but I was puzzled to read that they have a spring release in mind for the film. If the film is complete and Bridges’ work is that special, why not try a 2009 awards run? The questionmark that is “Amelia” aside, the studio haven’t much to work with yet this season, while the Best Actor roster is still looking very porous. This looks like a done-deal win, right? Curious.

→ 10 Comments Tags: , , , , , | Filed in: Daily

10 responses so far

  • 1 7-22-2009 at 10:18 am

    Kristopher Tapley said...

    All I need was a distributor to finally make the leap on Bridges, but the spring release is indeed a bit perplexing.

  • 2 7-22-2009 at 10:31 am

    BobMcBob said...

    how big is Colin Farrell’s role in this film? he has a ridiculous amount of films coming out in the near future

  • 3 7-22-2009 at 10:32 am

    James D. said...

    I couldn’t even find a wiki page on this when you first mentioned it. Should be interesting to see if this is a contender.

  • 4 7-22-2009 at 12:13 pm

    Ali E. said...

    Best Actor race this year is very weak indeed and Bridges could have a decent shot at winning… I hope it happens. There’s no one else who deserves it more…

  • 5 7-22-2009 at 12:33 pm

    Ivan said...

    Snubs that could helps his worthy nomination…

    1998 The Big Lebowski
    2004The Door in the Floor
    1991 The Fisher King
    1992 American Heart

  • 6 7-22-2009 at 1:09 pm

    twinzin said...

    Man Bridges need to get in here. Because I want some competition this year. This might be the second time the Best Actress race this decade that race has been more competitive than Best Actor.

  • 7 7-22-2009 at 1:55 pm

    Guy Lodge said...

    Ivan: I’m partial to Bridges in “Fearless,” personally. And he never gets enough credit for “The Fabulous Baker Boys.”

    Love the guy.

  • 8 7-22-2009 at 2:08 pm

    Patryk said...

    Amazing work in “Fat City,” my favorite John Huston film.

  • 9 7-22-2009 at 7:31 pm

    Princess of Peace said...

    Now this is something to get excited about – Jeff Bridges. It is about time this wonderful actor got some recognition. If they don’t release it this year then they should move it to next fall so Bridges can be a real Oscar contender.

  • 10 7-22-2009 at 9:25 pm

    Bing147 said...

    Bridges needs an Oscar. He’s my win for Fearless, Door in the Floor and Big Lebowski, none of which earned him even a nomination. He’s my runner up for Fisher King and The Contender. And he’s made my top 5 a number of times. For my money, a top 5 living actor no doubt.