Arlington Road (1999)

A Little Background: A couple months ago, I watched the American Masters documentary,  Jeff Bridges: The Dude Abides. I’ve always been a fan of Jeff Bridges, The Big Lebowski and The Fisher King are two of my favorite films. But this documentary made me want to dig into some of his older or lesser-known pictures. So I’ve recently watched Fat City, Bad Company, The Iceman Cometh, Thunderbolt & Lightfoot, Cutter’s Way, Starman, and Arlington Road. 

The Film: This movie really wants to be good… and it comes really close. I mean, it’s a decent film, to be honest, just a little over-ambitious. What does keep the story intriguing is Jeff Bridges and Tim Robbins. Their acting chops alone carry the plot. Bridges plays a college professor who is convinced that his neighbor is involved in a terrorist conspiracy. His paranoid obsession is captivating, despite how far-fetched the events become. And although  it’s inferior to movies like Rear Window or Blue Velvet, it follows a similar theme: the infatuation with the lives of others.

Three Favorite Things: longtime David Lynch collaborator Angelo Badalamenti’s creepy score, an emotionally-packed performance from Bridges, and that nonsensical charisma that only appears in films from the 1990s


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