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Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’ Compared To Zucker Bros. Movies And ‘The Big Lebowski’

Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' Compared To Zucker Bros. Movies And 'The Big Lebowski'

The curtain is starting to rise on Paul Thomas Anderson‘s “Inherent Vice“….if you’re one of the lucky people who have been invited to see it early. The filmmaker’s latest has quietly been screening for industry types since the spring, but more recently, select film writers and bloggers have had a chance to see it too (nope, we didn’t). And with these viewings an increasing amount of chatter is bubbling up about what kind of tone the Thomas Pynchon adaptation is taking on the big screen, and if the early buzz is anything to go by, this one is a bit out there.

Over at In Contention, Kristopher Tapley has heard some intriguing feedback from one source, that suggests the movie is going in the direction of very zany comedy. “It’s BONKERS — weird, weird, weird,” the insider said. “It made me laugh out loud several times, but not in the ways you might expect. The humor is not so much ‘Boogie Nights,’ as I think a lot of people are expecting. For reals, it tips into, like, Zucker Bros.-level gags and broad humor. But, obviously, mixed with his other sensibilities. Strange, beguiling tone.”

Meanwhile, comparisons to “The Big Lebowski” and Robert Altman‘s “The Long Goodbye” are being tossed around, and as for performances, Martin Short‘s role as a drugged out dentist is being called “batshit insane.” 

Over at Hollywood Elsewhere, Jeffrey Wells has also heard talk from those who’ve seen the movie early. Apparently it’s more of a “journey” movie than anything specifically plot driven, with yet another comparison to the Coen Brothers movie, and described as “brilliant and mesmerizing in an atmospheric, non-linear sort of way.”

All tantalizing impressions so far, and it won’t be long until we get much more feedback. “Inherent Vice” screens at the New York Film Festival in September.

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"atmospheric, non-linear".

I hope so. Anyone who can champion the style of Tarkovsky/Malick and get away with it unscathed is fine by me.






If it manages to be even more unclassifiable and unpredictable than The Long Goodbye, then I'll surely be in movie heaven. Can't wait!


The comment community on this site is just dreadful.


PTA seems to be able to pull off everything he's tried so far from good enough to the greatest effect, but I've never liked the Coen brother comedies.
Critics keep saying they're funny, but I don't think critics like actually funny comedy any more then they like actually good Sci-Fi.

This should be nothing less then incredibly fascinating one way or the other.


I'm starting to think this film is not going to get any Oscar attention. All these descriptions make me think this is exactly like Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. That and the fact that Josh Brolin didn't seem keen on the shooting style of PTA, calling it "chaos" and hoping they could assemble a coherent movie from it.


It sounds very much like the book.


It doesn't actually open NYFF – it's their Centerpiece selection.

Tyler Dunnahoo

Excellent. These descriptions matches tone of the novel completely. I'm so stoked. I wish more filmmakers worked like this. P.T.A. is our final hope.

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