After the (Y) machine took a festive break, the wheels are again starting to turn. To ring in the New Year, I’m going to be telling you about each of my ten favourite movies. it’s been harder than expected to elucidate my feelings on these films, usually “just watch the damn thing” is more effective than a series of ridiculous superlatives, but here goes. I hope you enjoy!
The Coen’s are my favourite directors and everything that makes them great is on superlative form in The Big Lebowski, what I consider their best film.
The tale of ostensibly jobless and perennially laidback stoner The Dude speaks to me, he is a main character impossible not to love and a man whom I believe I share a lot of philosophies. The mistaken identity noir pilot they weave underneath the array of amazing characters could have taken any shape and would have been interesting thanks to said characters and the Coens insane grasp of dialogue.
More quotable than any other film I’ve ever seen (get outta here Anchorman), the dialogue is what propels this film into classic territory. Arguments between The Dude and his volatile ‘Nam vet best buddy Walter, arguments between Walter and poor put-upon bowling team member Donny, arguments between The Dude and his wealthy namesake, The Big Lebowski, this film moves from scene to scene simply by having people yelling at each other in exponentially hilarious, inventive and unbelievable ways.
Stitching all the improbable circumstances that occur in this film with such zeal is what makes this film so strong. Take characters idiosyncratic enough that every single one deserves his own film, throw them into a deep series of insane mysteries and filter that throughout the lens of The Dude and his deeply zen demeanour and you get a film that is three-dimensionally self supporting and infinitely explorable.
I’ve got books on the many ethos’ that this film throws out, on how to live like The Dude. There’s a long running festival held in its honour. Dudaism is a legitimate religion even. It’s a universe to itself and every fibre of it’s being is enjoyable to the nth degree.
– Oliver Drew