The Big Lebowski (1998)
Cert: 15 / 112 mins / Dir. Joel Coen & Ethan Coen / Trailer
It was at the back-end of a drunken evening in 1999 when I first attempted to watch The Big Lebowski. Recommended in glowing terms by a similarly inebriated Coen-evangelist, it was, alas, slightly too much for me to take on board - certainly at the level it's intended, anyway. Before the dust had settled on the first act, the tape was out of the machine and replaced by something more... civilian. It was probably Austin Powers, in fact. And so here I am again, many years and many endorsements later, and with a slightly better understanding of where the film's coming from. How did I fare tonight?
Yeah, it was alright. Intricately assembled and never less than fascinatingly entertaining, but probably still too much of a stoner-movie for my tastes. Like many in its class, it leaves me with the feeling that I'm missing the point somehow, even while I'm watching it. There are still great things in there for me, though. The film has Jeff Bridges at his peak and John Goodman is nothing short of magnificent, but the plot rambles all over the place and contains too many under-explained incidental characters (underused in many cases, anyway).
I realise now how much Inherent Vice owes to The Big Lebowski, and just like that film, I imagine I'll get more out of this on future repeated viewings, if I can find the sweet-spot of liquid-fuelled relaxation in which to enjoy it properly. If you've recommended this to me in the past, expect me to be discussing it with you soon.
Strangely, I suspect I'll revisit the soundtrack before the film itself.
But isn't that just the Coens all over?
As above, nope.
Only to the right people and at the right time.
John Goodman starred in the Coen Bros' Inside Llewyn Davis, as did Oscar Isaac and Adam Driver, both of whom will appear later this year in The Force Awakens.
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