Jeet Heer put it directly by saying that film critics who first saw The Big Lebowski were blind to its brilliance because they were so ensconced in a commitment to naturalistic narrative they could not appreciate the absurdist inner life of The Dude or the chaotic sprawl of the world-building.
The lasting popularity of The Big Lebowski would have surprised most film critics when it first came out. As David Denby wrote in The New Yorker in 2008, the film “received mediocre reviews and did little initial business.” One of the snarledNew York
The shifting critical fortunes of The Big Lebowski are legendary. Roger Ebert initially gave the movie a mixed review because of its ramshackle plot, which “rushes in all directions and never ends up anywhere.” In 2010, he upgraded The Big Lebowski to the status of a “great” movie. Denby also changed his mind, according to a recent Washington PostsurveyNew Yorker review Post
It kind of reminded me of something I'd read from the blog of a friend years back who quoted a line from Eve Tushnet.
"Realism" only works for people whose worldviews are already accepted as realistic. The rest of us must make do with genre.
December 3, 2003 blog post over here
No, whatever the archive problem was it doesn't seem to have been fixed.
Just about the only thing The Dude could not abide was the music of The Eagles and, well, can't really say I dissent from that opinion, man. Whenever I hear songs by The Eagles now I feel as though that one band can explain the emergence of the entirety of second-wave feminism all by itself.