Coenpalooza! The Big Lebowski

(USA, 1998, 127 mins, DCP)
CAST Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, David Huddlestone, Philip Seymour Hoffman, John Turturro, David Thewlis, Ben Gazzara, Sam Elliott


Some film only get better the more you see them. And while The Big Lebowski is far from the perfect movie - it’s a shaggy dog story that barely hangs together - it may be the best time Hollywood has given us in the last two decades. Certainly it’s the most ubiquitous cult phenomenon we’ve seen since The Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Blues Brothers, a Philip Marlow mystery for the slacker generation (Chandler by way of Altman’s Long Goodbye).

Jeff Bridges is the Dude, a drop out looking for his virtue, and his rug, in the moral free-zone of contemporary Malibu. "The plot - thick as Kahlua - accommodates nihilist former krautrockers, fluxus artists, porn moguls, tearaway Minnesota farmgirls, paraplegic fake millionaires, TV Western writers in iron lungs, neo-Jewish Vietnam vets, paedophile bowlers and Saddam Hussein… Key ingredients include the endlessly quotable dialogue, an inspired cast of actors clearly relishing their lines, and T Bone Burnett’s jukebox soundtrack." Nick Bradshaw, The DVD Stack