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Big Lebowski, The (1998)

They figured he was a lazy time wasting slacker. They were right.

Original Title : Big Lebowski, The
Director : Joel Coen
Ethan Coen
Writer : Ethan Coen
Joel Coen
Genre : Comedy
Crime
Country : USA
Language : English
Producer : Tim Bevan , John Cameron , Ethan Coen , Eric Fellner
Music : Carter Burwell
Elvis Costello
Bob Dylan
Photography : Roger Deakins
Distributor : Gramercy Pictures [us]
MPAA Rating : Rated R for pervasive strong language, drug content, sexuality and brief violence.
IMDB ID : 0118715
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poster for "Big Lebowski, The" by Joel Coen | Ethan Coen (1998)
Big Lebowski, The (1998) - Joel Coen | Ethan Coen
 

Starring

Jeff Bridges Jeffrey Lebowski/The Dude
John Goodman Walter Sobchak
John Goodman Walter Sobchak
 

Plot

Jeffrey "The Dude" Lebowski is the ultimate LA slacker, until one day his house is broken into and his rug is peed on by two angry gangsters who have mistaken him for Jeffrey Lebowski, the LA millionaire, whose wife owes some bad people some big money. The Dude becomes entangled in the plot when he goes to visit the real Lebowski in order to get some retribution for his soiled rug, and is recruited to be the liason between Lebowski and the captors of his now "kidnapped" wife. Dude Lebowski is met by two mobsters wanting repayment of a loan that he knows nothing about. This simple case of mistaken identity entangles him into a complex kidnaping plot. The Dude and his bowling buddies (Walter and Donny) find themselves doing Philip Marlowe's Job in this complicated story that owes a lot to The Big Sleep.
 

Comments

Identity Spoilers herein. The Coens shine into one of the bright zones in my film universe. They are intelligent and fun. I believe that they first select some intellectual issue related to problems of narrative, here identity. Then they, independently, select a film style to exploit, here screwball through Busby (instead of the screwball through Capra of `Hudsucker'). Then they run wild with all sorts of cinematic devices, always cinematic narrative. Of the Coen films I know, this is the most fantastic in terms of shifting realities. Hudsucker shifted often, but only into the `newspaper' mode of `It Happened One Night.' Here we have an arbitrary number of realities and levels, all unstructured which is the point. It is also a favorite because it has Julianne doing what she (and very few others) does best: playing a character who is acting. She gives us herself as the actress, the character as the actress (here an abstract painter) and the quite different character the character plays (the femnist family anchor). She's a gift that the Coens know how to use. The narrative ground zero is supplied by the countertop Cowboy as chorus. The `play within' is the Berkeley dream sequence. Ted's Evaluation -- 3 of 4: Worth watching.
 
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