The Big Lebowski
|Writers:||Ethan Coen and Joel Coen|
|Director of Photography:||Roger Deakins|
|Editors:||Tricia Cooke and Roderick Jaynes|
|Production Designer:||Rick Heinrichs|
|Gramercy Pictures; R; 117 minutes|
|Cast:||Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, Sam Elliott, David Huddleston, John Turturro, Peter Stormare, David Thewlis and Ben Gazzara|
The makers of Fargo return to the lighter goofball comedy of Raising Arizona for their latest botched kidnapping scenario. A deadbeat amateur bowler named Jeff Lebowski, who goes by the name “The Dude,” (Jeff Bridges) is mistaken for a millionaire, also named Lebowski. When The Dude seeks out his wealthier namesake (David Huddleston), he gets suckered into efforts to rescue the man's kidnapped wife. Encounters with a series of bizarre characters who may or may not be the kidnappers—including a posse of neo-Nazi nihilists, a porn producer and a reticent teenager—are made all the more hilarious by The Dude's perpetually stoned state. John Goodman and Steve Buscemi amuse as The Dude's bowling team sidekicks, though their asinine banter gets tedious. More screen time should have gone to Julianne Moore, who is brilliant as Lebowski's eccentric daughter. Her musical dance number with The Dude is just one glowing example of this film's numerous comic coups; only the Coen brothers could make suburban bowling magical and turn a loser like The Dude into a hero.