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American Heart Movie Review

bridges spirit awards actor

Take a good look at Jeff Bridges’ performance as Jack in American Heart and then ask yourself what this three-time Oscar nominee has to DO to win an Academy Award. Bridges deservedly received recognition as Best Actor at the Independent Spirit Awards for his lived-in performance as an ex-convict, filled with despair and forced by circumstances to care for his adolescent son, Nick (superbly played by Edward Furlong). Nick has an aching need for his father's love and approval, but Jack has been so beaten by life that at first he can only grudgingly tolerate his son's presence. Directed by Martin (Streetwise) Bell, who thoroughly understands the difficult subject matter, American Heart resists sentimental short cuts and simplistic resolutions to dig all the way down to the core of this wrenching situation, and there's nary a false note in Peter Silverman's gritty, hard-hitting script. Bridges co-produced this little-seen American masterpiece, which represents an unequivocal high point in his long career.

1992 (R) 114m/C Jeff Bridges, Edward Furlong, Lucinda Jenney, Tracey Kapisky, Don Harvey, Margaret Welsh; D: Martin Bell; W: Peter Silverman; C: James R. Bagdonas; M: James Newton Howard. Independent Spirit Awards ‘94: Best Actor (Bridges); Nominations: Independent Spirit Awards ‘94: Best Cinematography, Best First Feature, Best Supporting Actor (Furlong), Best Supporting Actress (Jenney). VHS, LV

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