Today: April 14, 2024

Big Lebowski, The

While many films have earned ‘cult’ status because are said to speak to a minority of the general cinema-going public, The Big Lebowski has earned this title through the sheer dedication of its legions of fans.

While
many films have earned ‘cult’ status because are said to speak to a minority of
the general cinema-going public, The Big Lebowski has earned this title through
the sheer dedication of its legions of fans.
The film hardly created
many waves when it was released but now, thirteen years later, and not only are
annual Lebowski Fests held around the world (special screenings where audience
members are encouraged to dress up as characters), but there is even a religion
set up in the name of its main character – Dudeism, also known as The Church of
the Latter-Day Dude. This film doesn’t just have a cult following, it has a
dedicated mass of religious
followers.

And it’s easy to see why. A film made by the Coen Brothers on top of their game, before they began switching
between farce and Oscar-worthy dramas and instead had just started making a
name for themselves as a writing-directing team producing convoluted plots,
memorable characters and quotable dialogue. And The Big Lebowski has all three
of these to an unsurpassed level.

The film hangs all of its best qualities around its most off-putting one:
a very complex plot, which begins with a stoner bowler known as The Dude (Bridges) being attacked in his own home
by thugs mistaking him for his namesake, wheelchair-bound millionaire Jeffrey
Lebowski (Huddlestone). Because the
goons urinated on his rug, The Dude gets talked into seeking compensation from
the other Lebowski by his best friend, the violent and reckless Walter Sobchak
(Goodman). Soon The Dude becomes
embroiled in a kidnapping plot and a ransom payout all involving Lebowski’s
young wife Bunny (Reid), his artist
daughter Maude (Moore), a porn
producer, a 15-year-old car thief and a lot of bowling.

It’s easy to get bogged down in the complications of this very
Chandler-esque story but the truth is that the film is a straight-out comedy
made up of brilliantly drawn characters and snappy unforgettable lines. It is
the fact that The Dude, a hapless care-free layabout, and his friend Walter, an
explosive Gulf War veteran, unwittingly find themselves in a series of tricky
situations that makes the film so utterly hilarious.

Of course much of this is down to the lead actors. Not many will dispute
that Jeff Bridges is at his absolute finest here, playing the weed-addled Dude
with just the perfect amount of bewilderment and hesitation. In contrast,
Goodman delivers his favourite of his own performances as the self-righteous
Walter, exacerbating already-bad situations and refusing to take any
responsibility for it.

This is not to mention any of the other brilliant performances by the superb
supporting actors, such as Steve Buscemi
as team player Donny, John Turturro
as the colourful pervert Jesus and Philip
Seymour Hoffman
as Lebowski’s snivelling assistant Brandt. But then the
film cannot be easily surmised – every scene feels like a highlight, every line
feels like a classic. Combine this amount of quality with the Coen Brothers’
meticulous attention to detail, which especially comes into play during the
astounding dream sequences, and you haven’t just got one a career high for
those involved, but one of the greatest films ever made.

To Buy The Big Lebowski On Blu-Ray Click Here

Alex Moss Editor

Alex Moss’ obsession with film began the moment he witnessed the Alien burst forth from John Hurt’s stomach. It was perhaps ill-advised to witness this aged 6 but much like the beast within Hurt, he became infected by a parasite called ‘Movies’. Rarely away from his computer or a big screen, as he muses on Cinematic Deities, Alex is “more machine now than man. His mind is twisted and evil”. Email: alex.moss@filmjuice.com

Previous Story

Little White Lies

Next Story

Blues Brothers, The

Latest from Blog

Memory

Memory (2023)

Memory is an exquisite American drama in the tender embrace of Michel Franco’s cinematic prowess.

Argylle

Argylle is one of those films that, for the first 15 minutes, you absolutely hate. Then, slowly, inexorably, the script’s subversive humour starts to work its way under your skin. So that,

Sugar

From ultra-stylish visuals, to the cool, jazz soundtrack, and the knowing nod to Noir, Sugar is one glorious piece of misdirection after another. Like the best detective fiction, the clues are all

The Borderlands Unboxing

The Borderlands is one of the most underrated hidden gems in the found footage subgenre, so for it to receive the Second Sight treatment is fantastic news for horror fans. Our Alex

The First Omen

Last year, David Gordon Green followed up his underrated Halloween legacy trilogy with an ill-fated attempt at a sequel to The Exorcist. The film was ultimately a lesson in how not to

Priscilla Unboxing

Following Baz Luhrmann’s theatrical and somewhat romanticised portrayal of the so-called King or Rock & Roll in Elvis, celebrated filmmaker Sofia Coppola takes a different approach in the quietly powerful and dark
Go toTop