The Big Lebowski, Dir. Joel Coen, Perf. Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi. Gramercy Pictures, 1998. The Coen brothers’ The Big Lebowski is the story of an unemployed, aging hipster named Jeffery Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) who is mistaken for a different Jeffery Lebowski (later referred to as the big Lebowski, played by David Huddleston). Due to a case of mistaken identity, The Dude gets caught up in a messy kidnapping. Along the way, he meets a new lady friend, Maude (Julianne Moore), and is forced to deal with kidnappers, nihilists, a pornographer and a fascist police chief. All this, when “All The Dude ever wanted was his rug back…It really tied the room together.” The Big Lebowski takes place in Los Angeles in the early 1990s, around the time of the first gulf war. The story begins with The Dude returning home to find two goons demanding that he pay the money that his wife Bunny (who we later find out has been kidnapped) owes their boss. Not only has he never been married, but he is not the Jeffery Lebowski they are looking for. Plus, everyone calls him The Dude, not Jeffery. Before leaving, one of the goons urinates on The Dude’s rug. When The Dude visits the big Lebowski to sort out the issue of the soiled rug, he quickly finds himself in the role of bagman at the ransom money drop. With his friends, the gun toting Walter (John Goodman) and the bumbling wallflower Donny (Steve Buscemi) in tow, he sets out on an odyssey to get his rug back. The Big Lebowski has a wonderful script and soundtrack, captivating cinematography, and an absolutely brilliant cast. As is common for films that eventually reach cult status, its initial box office showing was anything but boffo. My only criticism is about the overabundant use of course language, including the use of the f-word 260 times.1
The Big Lebowski is Rated R for pervasive strong language, drug content, sexuality and brief violence....
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