17. The Big Lebowski
Watched on July 19, 2016
There are some movies that are just perfect. This is one of them. I understand how and why it’s not really for everyone. It’s weird. Out of chronological order at times, full of dream and drug-induced sequences and long lingering musical interludes.
It’s a tone poem from the Coens as much as a straightforward narrative. A meditation on a time and a place. “The Dude” is based on a real figure, both infuriating and entertaining as his fictional counterpart. Jeff Bridges gives his most endearing performance here, the ultimate lovable loser.
There is so little of this movie that I wouldn't claim as one of my favorite parts, I hesitate to begin to list any specifics but i'll call out a couple of things that stood out to me on this viewing.
Julianne Moore is amazing as Maude, she's sexy and bizarre and a little scary all at the same time. John Goodman is every obnoxious friend that you wouldn't trade for anything. And I bet we've all had one of those.
The set designs were something that I took special note of this time and found them to be as note perfect as any other part of the film.
I did end up trying to watch a piece of the film while my daughter's played in the living room and I was struck for the first time with just HOW MUCH vulgarity and profanity there is in this beautiful little movie. It's filthy. That realization made the Stranger's question to the Dude, "do you have to use so many dang cuss words?" all the funnier.
I've yet to dig into all the extras on this one, but there are some good ones, especially considering that the Coens still don't do directors commentaries.