45 with 31 posters participating
John Turturro wrote, directed, and stars in The Jesus Rolls.
Purple-clad bowling sensation Jesus Quintana is out of prison and ready for a kinky epic road-trip adventure in the first trailer for The Jesus Rolls, written by, directed by, and starring John Turturro. The film is being touted as a sequel to the Coen brothers’ 1998 cult film The Big Lebowski, but in truth the only shared factor is Quintana’s character. It’s really a remake of the controversial 1974 French film Going Places, which was directed by Bertrand Blier and starred a young Gérard Depardieu.
(Mildest of spoilers for The Big Lebowski below; some spoilers for the 1974 film Going Places.)
When the Coen brothers released their quirky crime comedy in 1998, it received mixed reviews and grossed a modest $46.7 million globally against its $15 million budget. But The Big Lebowski has since achieved cult status, thanks in large part to Jeff Bridges’ winsome portrayal of stoner/amateur philosopher Jeffrey “The Dude” Lebowski and the catchphrase “the Dude abides.” There’s an annual Lebowski Fest held in various cities, a Church of the Latter-Day Dude, and Bridges even appeared in character last year for a Super Bowl ad for Stella Artois beer.
Jesus Quintana is a minor character in the film, but he’s also a fan favorite: a swaggering, foul-mouthed bowling rival whose pre-roll ritual includes seductively licking his ball. He’s also, as Walter (John Goodman) says, a pervertspecifically, a pedophile who spent six months in prison for exposing himself to an 8-year-old girl.
The Coen brothers have always said they would never make a sequel to The Big Lebowski, but Turturro has long wanted to revive his character, and in 2016, the brothers granted him the right to use Quintana. (They are otherwise not involved with The Jesus Rolls.) Remaking a French film infamous for being vulgar, morally ambiguous, and depicting kinky sexual promiscuity might seem like an odd choice, but “It feels like a good time to release a transgressive film about the stupidity of men who try and fail and try better to understand and penetrate the mystery of women,” Turturro said in a statement.
- John Turturro revives his Big Lebowski character Jesus Quintana in The Jesus Rolls.
- Jesus has been in prison again.
- A Christopher Walken sighting as the prison warden.
- Jesus is a free man again.
- His buddy Petey (Bobby Cannavale) is there to greet him.
- Standoff with a store security guard.
- Bicycles make for a getaway in a pinch but they could really use some wheels.
- Hairdresser Paul Dominique (Jon Hamm) and his employee Marie (Audrey Tautou).
- Audrey joins them on the run.
- Hitting in the road in a stolen car.
- An awkward morning after.
- The guys pick up an older woman named Jean (Susan Sarandon).
- Pete Davidson plays Jack.
- Turturro as Jesus Quintana in 1998.
Judging by the trailer, the film really does seem to follow the arc of its French predecessor fairly closely. Per the official premise, “Hours after being released from prison, Jesus Quintana (John Turturro) pairs up with fellow misfits Petey (Bobby Cannavale) and Marie (Audrey Tautou), and embark on a freewheeling joyride of petty crime and romance.”
The trailer opens with a cameo by the always delightful Christopher Walken as the prison warden, cautioning Quintana that he’ll be locked up for good if he transgresses one more time. And he teases him about his bowling style: “Never seen anyone lick a ball, he thought he’d throw a strike.” Once released, Jesus meets up with Petey and promptly encourages him to steal a car despite the fact that they are both on parole. “I know you got a screwdriver.”
That car belongs to hairdresser Paul Dominique (Jon Hamm), who questions the wisdom of celebrating one’s release from prison by stealing a car before pulling a gun. Jesus and Petey flee, taking Paul’s assistant, Marie (Audrey Tautou), with them. There’s a run-in with a store security guard, a spot of hitchhiking, a Pete Davidson sighting, and a three-way with Marie (who boasts of having 374 guys, not counting Jesus and Petey).
Along the way, as in Going Places, they pick up an older woman named Jean (Susan Sarandon), who is also fresh out of prison, and have another threesome. (Photos of the steamy sex scene between the 73-year-old Sarandon, Turturro, and Cannavale have already leaked.) That, too, is featured in the original Going Places, which also included Jean’s suicide and the deflowering of a teenaged virgin. It remains to be seen if The Jesus Rolls will have a more updated sensibility or whether it will prove to be as controversial as a film that Roger Ebert called cynically decadent and “the most misogynistic movie I can remember.”
The Jesus Rolls premiered in Rome last October and hits theaters on February 28, 2020.
Jesus Quintana bowling in 1998’s The Big Lebowski.
Listing image by YouTube/Screen Media Films