Following the Oscar nods and "Is it really about Scientology?" innuendo that greeted his 2012 film The Master, writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson takes a left turn into '70s noir - and a cloud of marijuana smoke - with his psychedelic crime romp Inherent Vice. Adapted from Thomas Pynchon's gonzo 2009 novel, Vice stars Joaquin Phoenix as Larry "Doc" Sportello, a shambling SoCal PI investigating the disappearance of his ex-girlfriend's wealthy boyfriend. Along the way, he uncovers a pileup of conspiracies and faked deaths, heroin cartels and pimps. The cast includes Josh Brolin as a hippie-hating L.A. cop, Owen Wilson as a surf-band saxophonist, and Reese Witherspoon as a deputy DA and Doc's part-time squeeze.
Anderson draws inspiration from a certain hard-boiled Raymond Chandler classic as well as the stoner stalwarts behind Up in Smoke. "Paul said it has elements of The Long Goodbye and Cheech & Chong," says Katherine Waterston, the newcomer (and daughter of Law & Order's Sam Waterston) who plays the femme fatale. "It's hard to explain tonally." (Maybe The Bong Goodbye?) And in a film that swings between suspense and absurdity, prepare for a bit of magical realism. "A piece of fruit plays a major role. It's frozen. And it's my friend," teases Brolin. "Even talking about it now is making me chuckle."In announcing its full slate lineup, The New York Film Festival provided a nice writeup on Inherent Vice, which will be the fest's centerpiece screening in its world premiere.
Paul Thomas Anderson’s wild and entrancing new movie, the very first adaptation of a Thomas Pynchon novel, is a cinematic time machine, placing the viewer deep within the world of the paranoid, hazy L.A. dope culture of the early ’70s. It’s not just the look (which is ineffably right, from the mutton chops and the peasant dresses to the battered screen doors and the neon glow), it’s the feel, the rhythm of hanging out, of talking yourself into a state of shivering ecstasy or fear or something in between. Joaquin Phoenix goes all the way for Anderson (just as he did in The Master) playing Doc Sportello, the private investigator searching for his ex-girlfriend Shasta (Katherine Waterston, a revelation), menaced at every turn by Josh Brolin as the telegenic police detective “Bigfoot” Bjornsen. Among the other members of Anderson’s mind-boggling cast are Reese Witherspoon, Benicio Del Toro, Martin Short, Owen Wilson, and Jena Malone. A trip, and a great American film by a great American filmmaker.The fest also verified a 148 minute run time for Inherent Vice.
There you have it. It's done and it's coming.
IV (theatrical premiere): 119 days
IV (world premiere): 50 days
Stay tuned to Twitter and Facebook for the latest news and updates