Jeff Lebowski (Jeff Bridges – Seabiscuit, The Fabulous Baker Boys) prefers to be addressed as ‘The Dude’. The Dude is one of the laziest people that you will ever come across; the only thing he puts any effort into is getting stoned and bowling with his friends Walter (John Goodman – Beyond the Sea, O Brother, Where Art Thou?) and Donny (Steve Buscemi – Armageddon, The Wedding Singer). His life is going along at its normal slow pace when, due to a case of mistaken identity, some gangsters break into his house and pee on his rug.
The Dude finds out he was mistaken for millionaire Jeffrey Lebowski (David Huddleston – Frantic, Smokey and the Bandit II). Lebowski’s wife Bunny (Tara Reid – My Boss’s Daughter, Van Wilder) has run up some debts all around town and the gangsters want their money. Wanting some sort of payback for his ruined rug, The Dude goes to see Lebowski and somehow he gets involved in a kidnapping scheme. The Dude’s life is no longer mellow and he does not do a great job handling the change.
Never go into a Coen brothers’ movie expecting to fully understand the plot; this is something I learned a long time ago the hard way. Joel and Ethan (Intolerable Cruelty, The Man Who Wasn’t There) Coen wrote this film and they have a reputation of making complex films which usually involve a kidnapping scheme. The Big Lebowski is no exception and has now become a cult favourite. The film did not do well at the box office; it was only later that it achieved some sort of success when the public decided to let go of trying to figure out the story and just enjoy the film.
Director Joel Coen (The Ladykillers, Fargo) has made a film which is confusing and yet you find yourself wanting to watch it again and again. It is the type of film that each time you watch it you will learn something new. To increase the zaniness, as if it needed it, of this film there is now a fake intro to the film which is a scream. The craziness of the film is well complimented by the over-the-top acting by the entire cast. Look out for John Turturro (Secret Window, Mr. Deeds) in a short but hilarious cameo as Jesus the crazy bowler, Julianne Moore (The Hours, The End of the Affair) as Lebowski’s feminist daughter and the wonderful Philip Seymour Hoffman (Capote, 25th Hour) as Lebowski’s assistant. Pay attention to the great soundtrack which includes such artists as Bob Dylan, Elvis Costello and Creedance Clearwater Revival. I think that you have to really take the time to look at this film seriously to realize that it is a quality piece of original filmmaking.
- U-Control: Scene Companion
- U-Control: Mark It, Dude
- U-Control: The Music of The Big Lebowski
- Worthy Adversaries: What’s My Line Trivia
- The Dude’s Life
- The Dude Abides: The Big Lebowski Ten Years Later
- Making of The Big Lebowski
- The Lebowski Fest: An Achiever’s Story
- Flying Carpets and Bowling Pin Dreams: The Dream Sequences of The Dude
- Interactive Map
- Jeff Bridges Photo Book
- Photo Gallery
- An Introduction
- No Kid Hungry PSA