(Joel and Ethan Coen)
R, 116 minutes
Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore
When the Coen Brothers' The Big Lebowski was released in 1998, the reviews were generally tepid. But since then, the film has attracted a loyal, cultish following. Lebowski represents the Coens’ take on Howard Hawks’ The Big Sleep, the complex but beguiling 1946 noir, based on the Raymond Chandler novel. Instead of Bogart’s Philip Marlow, it’s the affable Lebowski, Bridges’ pot-smoking ex-hippie bowler who gets roped into the criminal shenanigans by mistaken identity. There’s nothing natural about the Coen visual aesthetic. The camera movement and composition are as precise as sculpture. And yet, within this strictness, particularly in The Big Lebowski, is the affable Jeff Bridges flapping about like a scarf in the breeze.