Who’s In It: Joaquin Phoenix as “Doc” Sportello; Katherine Waterston as Shasta Fay Hepworth; Josh Brolin as “Bigfoot” Bjornsen; Owen Wilson as Coy Harlingen.
Who Made It: Paul Thomas Anderson directs and produces from his own screenplay, based on a novel by Thomas Pynchon. Also produced by JoAnne Sellar and Daniel Lupi and distributed by Warner Bros. in cooperation with Ghoulardi Film Company and IAC Films.
What It’s About: Convinced that his ex-girlfriend has gone missing, private investigator “Doc” Sportello inadvertently wades deeper and deeper into a complex set of intersecting criminal conspiracies.
My Take: This is the first film I’ve seen in a theater this year, and I sorta hated it. While beautifully shot, it is narratively incoherent. The characters are all so disengaged from reality and unconcerned with the goings on around them that its hard to assess whether or not the performances were just phoned in or really good representations of people phoning in their lives. It’s too long, too boring, and too dense to be enjoyable. Anderson’s earlier films, like Magnolia, grew on me with repeat views. This one was such a dreadful experience that it won’t get that chance. Skip it.
For More Information: Inherent Vice on Wikipedia.