Will The Master auteur Paul Thomas Anderson’s Inherent Vice be one of the year’s major awards contenders? Honestly, it’s too early to tell whether the gonzo detective tale will be a tad too strange to strike a chord with Academy voters. Still, the very first trailer for the buzzy pic, which stars Joaquin Phoenix as a drug-addled private eye, paints a picture of a movie that will regardless be a must-see.
From the looks of it, Inherent Vice is going to be weird, erratic and a hell of a lot of fun. Fans of the Thomas Pynchon novel on which it’s based will appreciate the little touches in this preview that work almost like little tips of the hat to the source material – even if Anderson takes some liberties, this adaptation will clearly maintain the wacky spirit of Pynchon’s work.
The cast also looks to be fantastic. Phoenix will be courting Oscar with another tricky lead performance that he appears to have executed flawlessly, while co-star Josh Brolin should wring every last drop of outlandish machismo out of his LAPD detective Bigfoot Bjornsen. Other stars to watch may well include the likes of Katherine Waterston, Jena Malone, Owen Wilson, Benicio del Toro and Reese Witherspoon (though her solo vehicle Wild may be her best shot at awards attention, regardless of the actress’s work here).
Check out the official synopsis and trailer below, and let us know whether you’ll be watching Inherent Vice when it opens wide on January 9th (an Oscar-qualifying limited release will occur on December 12th).
“Inherent Vice” is the seventh feature from Paul Thomas Anderson and the first film adaption of a Thomas Pynchon novel. When P.I. Doc Sportello’s ex-old lady shows up with a story about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend and a plot by his wife and her boyfriend to kidnap that billionaire and throw him in a looney bin… well, easy for her to say. It’s the tail end of the `60s, paranoia is running the day and Doc knows that “love” is one of those words going around, like “trip” or “groovy,” that’s 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.