Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Could ‘Inherent Vice' Be PTA's ‘Big Lebowski'?

Vanity Fair seems to think so. In a recent article the magazine draws some (vague) similarities between the two (both LA-set stoner mysteries) following up films that won critical kudos ('Vice' following "There Will Be Blood," 'Lebowski' following "Fargo") but lost Best Picture. VF also compares 'Vice' to Altman's 70s LA mystery "The Long Goodbye" and suggests that a finished script is now circulating in Hollywood though it doesn't appear that they've read it.
Thomas Pynchon’s novels are notoriously unfilmable, and in functionally illiterate Hollywood, the idea of any agent or film executive reading one—let alone wanting to make it into a movie—is funnier than this weekend’s S.N.L. Charlie Sheen opener. At least, that was the case, until Pynchon wrote Inherent Vice—which foregoes his usual cerebral, paranoid, scientific-philosophical synthesis of Western civilization for a more genial, pot-hazed look at psychedelic-60s Los Angeles. It’s a kind of Altman-esque take on The Long Goodbye—with a lot more Mary Jane. It’s not surprising that the L.A.-themed project would appeal to native Valley boy Anderson, whose entire oeuvre, from Boogie Nights to Magnolia to Punch Drunk Love, features Southern California as a kind of background character. (To boot, There Will Be Blood is dedicated to the late, great Altman himself.) And if there’s one filmmaker whose talent feels up to the task of adapting any Pynchon novel, it is the bravura Anderson, especially if he’s armed with Robert Downey Jr.’s nuclear charisma.
You can read the full piece at Vanity Fair.

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