Screened as part of NZIFF 2015
NZIFF puts Paul Thomas Anderson’s inspired adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s novel onto New Zealand cinema screens at last. Joaquin Phoenix is woozily perfect as stoned LA beach bum and private investigator Doc Sportello, lured by his ex into a missing person enquiry that’s richly evocative in every detail, and, like many a noir before it, evocatively incomprehensible in toto. Prime yourself just to soak up the good – and bad – vibrations, and you may find Inherent Vice addictive.
“Phoenix and the terrific acting ensemble that joins him in this pot-infused 70s-era beach noir create such a good buzz you can almost get a contact high from watching. A sprawling cast is required for the many vices and various intrigues, with Josh Brolin, Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Jena Malone and Martin Short as its core, plus Katherine Waterston, actor Sam’s daughter, as the pivotal femme fatale… Trying to pare back Pynchon without killing the joke was the challenge. Anderson has done a remarkable job of replicating the crazy kaleidoscope of crime, dope and raunch the novelist conjured. It is a densely detailed cultural polyglot of real estate machinations, Aryan Brotherhood bikers, dental scams, sex, drugs, dope smoking, detectives and dames.” — Betsy Sharkey, LA Times
“It is obvious by now that Paul Thomas Anderson isn’t making individual movies so much as building an oeuvre block by block – the sturdiest, most resilient body of work by a bigtime American director since Stanley Kubrick died and Martin Scorsese ran out of steam.” — J. Hoberman, Artforum