|Michael A. Maynez|
The big let down would have been a more appropriate title for the latest, from the Coens freres . As brothers Joel, director-writer and Ethan, producer writer, they are not at their “Fargo” which was such a wonder to behold last year. Certainly deserving of all the accolades it gathers.
Maybe my exception from that flick, was too much, in attending , “The Big Lebowski”. It seems like a great premise at the start and gets so convoluted in plot structure, that you wonder if all the participants really were on pot, as Jeff Bridges as the lead cannot seem to survive without his joint and the eternal White Russians that he keeps drinking up. John Goodman and SteveBuscemi as sidekicks fare no better. I am a great fan of Jeff Bridges, but in this one he lost me completely. Julianne Moore so excellent in “Boogie Nights”, in this she plays an avant-garde artist, so much for flying art. David Huddleston, as the real big Lebowski, is a perfectly villainous millionaire, who Jeff Bridges is mistaken for.
The profanity in the flick is a definite blow to the script as lacking in word writing skills. After awhile you wonder if there are other comparable words to screw. John Turturro as Jesus Quintana has a bowl as a bowler, (Is he suppose to be the devil?) The bowling scenes are too numerous to be funny, but one of the fantasy sequences a la Busby Berkeley is fantastically inspired. The Sam Elliott’s character is a dubious Angel narrator, which leaves you with the most telling dialogue of the flick, which makes the audience nod in ascent. This lunacy is really for the demented.
The Big Lebowski
Produced by: Ethan Coen
Directed by: Joel Coen
With: Jeff Bridges, John Goodman, Julianne Moore, Steve Buscemi, David Huddleston, John Turturro
Written by: Ethan Coen, Joel Coen
Director of photography: Roger Deakins
Line Producer: John Cameron
Production design by: Rick Heinrichs
Original music by: Carter Burwell
Executive producers: Rim Bevan, Eric Fellner