The name of the game seems to be chaos. That’s how Owen Wilson and Josh Brolin have both described the process of “Inherent Vice.” It’s not something you expect to hear from filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson. But his style has radically evolved. Traits indebted to Martin Scorsese and Robert Altman evident in “Boogie Nights” and “Magnolia” have been replaced by a much looser, experimental approach to filmmaking. Ever since “There Will Be Blood,” the director’s work has arrived to a new level eschewing most obvious influences.
“The Master” disavowed narrative even more, going for a dreamy mood and a skewed tone, but PTA’s latest, an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s “Inherent Vice,” is a detective stoner comedy with psychedelic overtones. “It has this ‘Big Lebowski’ element to one side of it, but the emotional undertone, the desperation, the paranoia, and the yearning in the film…” New York Film Festival director Kent Jones said earlier this year.
Here’s the film’s official synopsis:
When private eye Doc Sportello’s ex-old lady suddenly out of nowhere shows up with a story about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend whom she just happens to be in love with, and a plot by his wife and her boyfriend to kidnap that billionaire and throw him in a loony bin…well, easy for her to say. It’s the tail end of the psychedelic `60s and paranoia is running the day and Doc knows that “love” is another of those words going around at the moment, like “trip” or “groovy,” that’s being way too overused—except this one usually leads to trouble.
With a cast of characters that includes surfers, hustlers, dopers and rockers, a murderous loan shark, LAPD Detectives, a tenor sax player working undercover, and a mysterious entity known as the Golden Fang, which may only be a tax dodge set up by some dentists… Part surf noir, part psychedelic romp—all Thomas Pynchon.
“Inherent Vice” stars Oscar nominees Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin and Owen Wilson; Katherine Waterston (“Michael Clayton,” “Boardwalk Empire”); Oscar winners Reese Witherspoon and Benicio Del Toro ; Martin Short, Jena Malone (“The Hunger Games” series); and Joanna Newsom (“Portlandia”).
PTA’s seventh feature length effort arrives in theaters on December 12, but will make it’s world premiere at the New York Film Festival on October 4th. The trailer, which you’ve been waiting for months now, is finally here. Watch it below in all it’s strange, wonderful glory.