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The Big Lebowski


The Big Lebowski is a seminal piece of cult movie-making from the twisted minds of The Coen Brothers – the dynamic duo who also gave us Fargo, Blood Simple, Raising Arizona, No Country for Old Men, O Brother, Where Art Thou? and 2010's True Grit. With a built in audience, and mass appeal, the Coen Brothers are like nihilists of cinema – they do what they want, however they want – and the results are almost always spectacular. (OK, some of their films are a little weak – Intolerable Cruelty, for example.) For many, The Big Lebowski is the crowning achievement in Joel and Ethan Coen's amazing career. It's an off-the-wall absurdist tale about a hippie-stoner-bowler who calls himself The Dude (Jeff Bridges, in one of the best roles of his illustrious career). The Dude is mistaken (by thugs of a porn producer) for Jeffrey Lebowski (The Dude's proper name) who's a heartless millionaire and founder of the Little Lebowski Urban Achievers organization. One of their gang pees on The Dude's favorite rug, ruining it. This forces The Dude to visit the real Jeffrey Lebowski, hoping to receive some sort of compensation for the stained rug. Our hapless hero is then enlisted to help Jeffrey Lebowski recover his ex-porn star wife (Tara Reid), who was seemingly kidnapped by several idiotic nihilists. But things go very awry when The Dude asks his friend Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) – a veteran with anger issues – to help out. There's also a subplot about a stolen car, a porn producer, Jeffrey Lebowski's ridiculously pompous daughter Maude (Julianne Moore). Oh yeah, and there's Donny (Steve Buscemi), the hapless friend and fellow bowler of The Dude and Walter. And Jesus (John Turturro), a pedophile who's hoping to beat The Dude, Walter and Donny in the bowling championship. To be honest, just writing that out, it's sort of hard to comprehend the film's ridiculous layers. The Big Lebowski is an odyssey of strange and absurd, narrowly built for the cult crowd, and injected with the usual Coen Brothers wit and silliness. When the film first arrived, it was met with confusion and even some distaste among critics and audiences who couldn't quite wrap their heads around the dizzyingly funny, and haplessly convoluted tale. But over the years, The Big Lebowski has become a massive cult hit, complete with Lebowski conventions and fan clubs (called The Little Lebowski Urban Achievers). While the film may not have been understood completely back in 1998, it's now one of The Coen Brothers most renowned works. Finally, after all these years, The Dude is getting some respect. I just wish he could get some compensation for his rug. It really tied the room together. Courtesy: R.L. Shaffer,
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Directed by: 
Joel Coen
Running Time: 
Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, Phillip Seymour Hoffman
Screenplay by: 
Ethan Coen, Joel Coen

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