I can’t believe Nostra began this series way back in March. This relay has taken all sorts of crazy and unpredictable turns! I’ve seen some of my favorite on-screen performers come and go from this ever-evolving list. I’m the 20th recipient of this relay and I don’t think my choice of actor will rock the boat too much.
To sum up the point of all this, in Nostra’s words:
So what’s the idea behind the relay? I’ve created a list of what I think are the best actors. At the end I, just like in a real relay race, hand over the baton to another blogger who will write his own post. The blogger will have to remove one actor (that is an obligation) and add his own choice and describe why he/she did this. At the end the blogger chooses another blogger to do the same. The idea is to make this a long race, so that each blogger gets a chance to remove and add an actor. We will end up with a list (not ranked in order) which represents a common agreement of the best actors.
The Previous Entries:
- My Film Views
- The Focused Filmographer
- Front Room Cinema
- I Love That Film
- All Eyes On Screen
- Time Well Spent
- The Warning Sign
- And So It Begins…
- cinematic corner.
- Andy Buckle’s Film Emporium
- Duke and the Movies
- Southern Vision
- Defiant Success
- Cinematic Paradox
- Encore Entertainment
- Okinawa Assault
Can I start off by saying that I love this list as it stands right now? I was bummed to see some other actors go, but seeing the likes of Nicholson, Newman, Fiennes, Brando, etc., just makes me proud to be a film geek among film geeks. That said, removing one of the actors on the previous list was an easy choice for me. I didn’t hesitate. I have nothing negative to say about the guy; it’s just that my personal viewing experience doesn’t warrant his inclusion on my own top ten list of actors.
Charlie Chaplin is a legend. An icon. One of the most influential giants of the movie industry. I’ve only seen one of his films – Modern Times - and that was in film school over 15 years ago. Silent films are simply not on my radar, but I do recognize the importance – and sheer brilliance – of the format. Chaplin was a pioneer in front of the camera and behind. His inclusion on this list is justified.
However, I needed to make room for another giant. Literally and figuratively.
Jeff Bridges, standing tall at 6’1″, has been an acting powerhouse since 1971 and is still going strong. In fact, I had it narrowed down to two actors. Bridges and Dustin Hoffman. I love Hoffman and have been waiting for his inclusion on here since its inception. But what made me pick Bridges over Hoffman? Consistency. Jeff Bridges has been consistently good throughout his entire 40-year-plus career. Looking at his body of work made it very clear to me that he belongs on this list.
His versatility was apparent right from the get go. The Last Picture Show (1971), Thunderbolt and Lightfoot (1974), Stay Hungry (1976), and Tron (1982) showed us that Bridges was not going to be pigeonholed inside of a particular genre. The 80′s, in fact, were really good to him. He released Starman (1984), Against All Odds (1984) and Jagged Edge (1985) within one year from each other, certifying him as a box office star. He sizzled on screen with Jane Fonda (The Morning After ), Kim Basinger (Nadine ), and Farrah Fawcett (See You in the Morning ). He went from a matinee idol to an esteemed actor with some spectacular, high-caliber performances in Tucker: The Man and His Dream (1988), The Fabulous Baker Boys (1989), The Fisher King (1991), American Heart (1992) and Fearless (1993). He was no longer a movie star. He was now an actor.
In the years that followed, Bridges mixed it up. The Big Lebowski (1998), The Contender (2000) and The Door in the Floor (2004) are my personal favorite performances from Jeff Bridges. The amount of range and depth he has shown in his body of work never fails to amaze me, and those three roles showed me how good he can be when he is firing on all cylinders. Bridges, of course, has made a few mediocre films, but he always remains an interesting figure on screen. Blown Away (1994), White Squall (1996), The Mirror Has Two Faces (1996), and Arlington Road (1999) are not great films, but Bridges has made them highly watchable. I can think of moments in each of those films that worked because of Bridges and that wonderfully expressive face of his.
The last decade had its share of ups and downs. He led the charge with the well-received Seabiscuit (2003) and created a memorable villain as Obadiah Stane in Iron Man (2008). I admired his performances some very small films, like The Amateurs (2005), Stick It (2006) and The Open Road (2009). The return to his Kevin Flynn/Clu characters in Tron: Legacy (2010) was remarkably good. The film was flawed, but go back and soak in his dual, layered performances. He was more dazzling than the special effects. Then there’s the one-two punch that finally led him to his long-deserved Oscar. He’s phenomenal in Crazy Heart (2009), a movie I didn’t love. But his performance was typical, masterful Bridges. And wasn’t he just about perfect in True Grit (2010)?
Jeff Bridges is irreplacable. I hope he stays on this list for a long, long time. I know if this were my personal Top Ten, he’d never come off!
But since it’s not my personal list, I gotta pass it along. The buck now stops with Diana at Aziza’s Picks. Go crazy, Diana!