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THE BIG LEBOWSKI

Director: JOEL COEN

U.S.A. • 1998 • COLOUR • DOLBY DIGITAL STEREO • 117 MIN


This film screened 28th February 2010.

AFTER THE FAIRLY TRADITIONAL NARRATIVE THAT WAS FARGO, THE BIG LEBOWSKI REPRESENTED SOMETHING OF A RETURN TO THE MADCAP COMIC STYLE OF RAISING ARIZONA.
Its central protagonist is an amalgam of some lovably eccentric characters known to the Coens. Jeffrey Lebowski (Jeff Bridges), aka the Dude, is a laid-back Los Angeles stoner (‘high in the runnin’ for laziest man worldwide’) who spends much of his time chatting with fellow bowling fanatics Walter (John Goodman), a motor-mouth Vietnam veteran, and Donny (Steve Buscemi), a nice guy who’s always one step behind. The Coens throw Jeff and his pals into a Raymond Chandler-style plot involving mistaken identity and the kidnapping of the wife of a millionaire (also named Lebowski). The complicated story is amusing in itself, but the real pleasures of the film have more to do with the terrific characterisations (Bridges and Goodman are awesome), the imaginative flights of fancy, and the Coens’ characteristically sharp observations on the zanier aspects of early 1990s American culture.

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