Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Paul Thomas Anderson: 'Inherent Vice' (2014)

Paul Thomas Anderson's Inherent Vice (2014), an adaptation of the 2009 Thomas Pynchon novel of the same title, is a milieu film set in 1970 Los Angeles, California, and thereabouts. Ronald Reagan is the governor, Richard M. Nixon is the president and the US-Vietnam War is still dragging on and on.  Hippies and squares vie for shrinking karmic space on the West Coast.  

As Doc Sportello, stoner private eye, Joaquin Phoenix fits right in, as does Doc's frenemy, the other key character in this tale, flattoped LA Detective Bigfoot Bjornsen (Josh Brolin). 
Inherent Vice: it's the ouija board, man! Obvious comparison points: the Coen Brothers, The Big Lebowski (1998) and A Serious Man (2009); Roman Polanski's Chinatown (1974); and so on. 
Inherent Vice: It's the fog, man!  Anderson proceeds at his usual grinding, discomfiting pace. Not as evil here as in There Will Be Blood (2007) or The Master (2012), still there are in Inherent Vice scenes both long and slow -- even unnerving. Overall, it's not as "heavy" a trip as the aforesaid flicks, not by a long shot -- which is a merciful thing. 
Inherent Vice: Can you grok this, 1-Adam-12? 

Today's Rune: Partnership. 


the walking man said...

If it's a Coen bros movie it is a must see at some point in the next 5 years. I just started watching movies again after near a 10 year hiatus.

Barbara Bruederlin said...

Hmmmm, some interesting comparisons! I think I will have to add this one to the list. I understand Phoenix does a standup job.

Charles Gramlich said...

this looks like the kind of quirky I like.

Vesper said...

I think I'd like to watch this.

jodi said...

Erik-this one has Dane's name all over it! He so admired the Coen's!