Warner Bros. recently released the first trailer for Inherent Vice, the long-awaited latest feature from celebrated filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson.
You can watch the trailer here below.
Based on the best-selling 2009 novel by the elusive iconoclastic author Thomas Pynchon, Vice stars Joaquin Phoenix as a Los Angeles hippie private detective who uncovers a scheme to kidnap a billionaire land developer (Eric Roberts) who his ex-girlfriend (Katherine Waterson) is in love with. His investigation brings him into the orbit of a star-studded cast of cops, criminals, and drugged-out California eccentrics in the early 1970s that also features Josh Brolin, Benicio Del Toro, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Jena Malone, Maya Rudolph, and Martin Short.
Anderson is one of those filmmakers who seemingly could not make a bad film even if they tried. Ever since his 1996 debut Hard Eight he has been a director who infuses every frame of celluloid on his cinematic masterworks with passion, intelligence, wit, and a haunting yet poetic humanity that few of his peers are able to duplicate. The Pynchon novel is one that I have yet to read even though I have owned a paperback copy for some time now, but it seems perfect material for Anderson to mold into a cohesive and entertaining feature that reflects his own personal and professional sensibilities while remaining true to the spirit of the book. In short, Inherent Vice just leaped to the top of my must-see list of this Fall’s line-up of films.
After navigating the relentlessly dark territory of Magnolia, There Will Be Blood, and The Master (all three superb films), it’s wonderful to see Anderson tapping back into the fizzy, high energy verve of his breakthrough film Boogie Nights. The director has stated in interviews that his influences for Inherent Vice were drawn from the pulp crime novels of Mickey Spillane and Raymond Chandler, the goofy Cheech & Chong stoner comedies, and the underground comics classic Fabulous Furry Freak Brothers. Being a fan of all those things and then some I can definitely see their combined spirit working its way through the story like an impenetrable cloud of marijuana smoke I once saw hanging over the crowd at a Tom Petty concert. Plus, it’s a kick to see the normally dead serious Phoenix playing it loose and light for once while still giving a performance worthy of his considerable talents.
Inherent Vice won’t open in theaters until its limited release premiere on December 12, 2014 – the film goes into wide release on January 8, 2015 – but it will be screened for the first time this Saturday, October 4, 2014 at the New York Film Festival. Expect the buzz, be it good or bad (and I’m seriously hoping for good here), to spread the ‘Net like a wildfire shortly thereafter.