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Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Inherent Vice' Compared To Zucker Bros. Movies And 'The Big Lebowski'

Photo of Kevin Jagernauth By Kevin Jagernauth | The Playlist July 25, 2014 at 10:02AM

The curtain is starting to rise on Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice"....if you're one of the lucky people who have been invited to see it early. The filmmaker's latest has quietly been screening for industry types since the spring, but more recently, select film writers and bloggers have had a chance to see it too (nope, we didn't). And with these viewings an increasing amount of chatter is bubbling up about what kind of tone the Thomas Pynchon adaptation is taking on the big screen, and if the early buzz is anything to go by, this one is a bit out there.
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Joaquin Phoenix, Paul Thomas Anderson Inherent Vice

The curtain is starting to rise on Paul Thomas Anderson's "Inherent Vice"....if you're one of the lucky people who have been invited to see it early. The filmmaker's latest has quietly been screening for industry types since the spring, but more recently, select film writers and bloggers have had a chance to see it too (nope, we didn't). And with these viewings an increasing amount of chatter is bubbling up about what kind of tone the Thomas Pynchon adaptation is taking on the big screen, and if the early buzz is anything to go by, this one is a bit out there.

Over at In Contention, Kristopher Tapley has heard some intriguing feedback from one source, that suggests the movie is going in the direction of very zany comedy. "It's BONKERS — weird, weird, weird," the insider said. "It made me laugh out loud several times, but not in the ways you might expect. The humor is not so much 'Boogie Nights,' as I think a lot of people are expecting. For reals, it tips into, like, Zucker Bros.-level gags and broad humor. But, obviously, mixed with his other sensibilities. Strange, beguiling tone."

Meanwhile, comparisons to "The Big Lebowski" and Robert Altman's "The Long Goodbye" are being tossed around, and as for performances, Martin Short's role as a drugged out dentist is being called "batshit insane." 

Over at Hollywood Elsewhere, Jeffrey Wells has also heard talk from those who've seen the movie early. Apparently it's more of a "journey" movie than anything specifically plot driven, with yet another comparison to the Coen Brothers movie, and described as “brilliant and mesmerizing in an atmospheric, non-linear sort of way.”

All tantalizing impressions so far, and it won't be long until we get much more feedback. "Inherent Vice" screens at the New York Film Festival in September.

This article is related to: Inherent Vice, Martin Short, Paul Thomas Anderson


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