Sunday, 29 August 2010

Film Review: THE BIG LEBOWSKI (1998)

Writer/Directors: Joel Coen & Ethan Coen (uncredited as director)
Running time: 117 mins (approx)
Certification (UK): 18

UK release date: 1st May 1998

Watched on DVD Sunday 29th August 2010.


I’ll admit I am a big fan of this film; I’ve loved it since I first saw it on a grainy rental video back in 2000. To me the Coen brothers have made two outstanding films, this one and Fargo (1996), and yes, I know there will be some disagreement out there about that, but it’s only my opinion. Now, before I tell you why I think this is such a great film, here’s a little bit about the plot.

Jeffrey Lebowski (a.k.a. The Dude), is disturbed one evening when two heavies break into his house and demand money that his wife owes their boss. One of them urinates on his rug before they realise they have the wrong Lebowski… This one isn’t even married. The next day The Dude complains about this to his bowling buddies, Walter Sobchak and Donny Kerabatsos. They figure out it’s a case of mistaken identity and The Dude goes to see the man they really wanted, another Jeffrey Lebowski - The Big Lebowski, who happens to be a millionaire. Leaving with a replacement rug, The Dude meets the young trophy wife, Bunny Lebowski. A few days later he is contacted by Mr Lebowski’s assistant, Brandt, because Bunny has been kidnapped and they want The Dude to act as the bag man. I won’t say any more, but that’s basically the set-up. Throw in The Big Lebowski’s artist daughter Maude (from a previous marriage) and some crazy German nihilists and you can see there’s plenty to keep the audience amused and entertained.

This is an exceptionally well made film with a great cast, a great score and some really different and enthralling dream sequences thrown in. To me it’s almost the perfect movie, I say almost, because I like to leave a little margin for improvement. Great performances all round from; Jeff Bridges as Jeffrey Lebowski - The Dude, John Goodman as Walter Sobchak, Julianne Moore as Maude Lebowski, Steve Buscemi as Donny Kerabatsos, David Huddleston as Jeffrey Lebowski - The Big Lebowski, Philip Seymour Hoffman as Brandt and Tara Reid as Bunny Lebowski. Oh, and I almost forgot a stellar performance by John Turturro as Jesus Quintana.

As I’ve already said, this is, to me, almost the perfect movie. I say that because I can only find one scene that doesn’t add anything substantial to the story. It’s the one where The Dude confronts the guy in the VW Beetle (for those that have seen it). Apart from that, an almost perfect movie. Very highly recommended.

My score: 9.3/10

IMDb Site:

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