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The Big Lebowski

Threat advisory: High - High risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Joel and Ethan Coen's The Big Lebowski finds Jeff Lebowski (Jeff Bridges) the victim of mistaken identity. Two thugs break into his apartment in the errant belief that they are accosting Jeff Lebowski, the Pasadena millionaire - not the laid-back, unemployed, stuck in the 70s Jeff Lebowski who calls himself The Dude.

The Dude's first mistake is paying a visit to his wealthy namesake in the hopes of getting a replacement for his soiled carpet. But instead of a persian loaner, our reluctant hero and his buddy Walter (John Goodman) are swept up in a coenesque comedy/thriller of extortion, double-cross, deception, embezzlement, sex, and dope.

It takes guys as simple as The Dude and Walter to make a story this complicated... and they'd really rather be bowling.

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

Remember Fargo, where everything went around and around in giant circles until the laid-back, pregnant Sheriff sorted it all out? That was by the Coen brothers, as is The Big Lebowski. And you can tell it, too: snappy dialogue, characters from hell, damaged goods, innovative camera work, and the mother of all convoluted plots (I won't tell you how it ends).

Jeff Bridges doesn't do anything for me (and never has) but he plays The Dude well. John Goodman, on the other hand, gives his best performance since he left Roseanne, painfully earnest in his belief of how the world works. Steve Buscemi turns in a mature performance as Donny, the mild-mannered ex-surfer, a million miles away from what you expect of him after Fargo. I love a good surprise. All the supporting cast do well, too.

I recommend this film. It's entertaining, it's witty, it's funny, it's snappy, it's painful.

Security censorship classification

MA 15+ (Medium level coarse language)

Surveillance time

116 minutes (1:56 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

VHS rental: Undated November 2000

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