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Inherent Vice (2014)

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In 1970, drug-fueled Los Angeles private investigator Larry "Doc" Sportello investigates the disappearance of a former girlfriend.

Writers:

Paul Thomas Anderson (written for the screen by), Thomas Pynchon (based on the novel by)
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1,182 ( 126)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 94 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Joanna Newsom ... Sortilège
Katherine Waterston ... Shasta Fay Hepworth
Joaquin Phoenix ... Larry "Doc" Sportello
Jordan Christian Hearn ... Denis
Taylor Bonin Taylor Bonin ... Ensenada Slim
Jeannie Berlin ... Aunt Reet
Josh Brolin ... Lt. Det. Christian F. "Bigfoot" Bjornsen
Eric Roberts ... Michael Z. Wolfmann
Serena Scott Thomas ... Sloane Wolfmann
Maya Rudolph ... Petunia Leeway
Martin Dew ... Dr. Buddy Tubeside
Michael Kenneth Williams ... Tariq Khalil
Hong Chau ... Jade
Shannon Collis ... Bambi
Christopher Allen Nelson ... Glenn Charlock
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Storyline

During the psychedelic 60s and 70s Larry "Doc" Sportello is surprised by his former girlfriend and her plot for her billionaire boyfriend, his wife, and her boyfriend. A plan for kidnapping gets shaken up by the oddball characters entangled in this groovy kidnapping romp based upon the novel by Thomas Pynchon. Written by bignicknasty97

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Love usually leads to trouble.


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for drug use throughout, sexual content, graphic nudity, language and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

USA

Language:

English | Japanese

Release Date:

9 January 2015 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Inherent Vice See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$328,184, 12 December 2014

Gross USA:

$8,110,975

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$14,710,975
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Datasat | SDDS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

1.85 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This film is the second film Reese Witherspoon has starred with three of her co-stars. She starred with Joaquin Phoenix in Walk the Line (2005), Josh Brolin in Best Laid Plans (1999), and Owen Wilson in How Do You Know (2010). See more »

Goofs

I've read that PTA is a big Neil Young fan, and that Doc's look is based on Neil's look from the early 70's, especially the mutton chops. And while the Neil tunes frame their scenes nicely, they should not have playing on Doc's radio and in the Golden Fang lobby. See more »

Quotes

Sortilège: [Narrating] Was it possible that at every gathering, concert, peace rally, love-in, be-in, freak-in, here up north, back east, where ever, some dark crews had been busy all along reclaiming the music, the resistance to power, the sexual desire from epic to everyday? All they could sweep up for the ancient forces of greed and fear? Gee he thought... I don't know.
See more »

Crazy Credits

After the credits roll, the end caption is the opening inscription from Pynchon's novel, Inherent Vice: "Under the Paving-Stones, the Beach!" - Graffito, Paris, May 1968 See more »


Soundtracks

Harvest
Written and Performed by Neil Young
Courtesy of Reprise Records
By arrangement with Warner Music Group Film & TV Licensing
See more »

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User Reviews

 
A Stoned and Surreal Epic!
11 November 2014 | by DavidStewart57See all my reviews

Paul Thomas Anderson's seventh film, Inherent Vice, is a surreal, kinky, and stoned epic of mammoth proportions. The fact that Anderson decided to be the first director adapt the wild prose of Thomas Pynchon is an achievement in of itself. Set in Los Angeles in the early Seventies, Larry "Doc" Sportello (Joaquin Phoenix) awakens from his stony stupor when his ex-girlfriend (Katherine Waterston) tries to find sanctuary from her real-estate mogul boyfriend, his wife, and her boyfriend. In traditional noir fashion, not all is simple as it sounds as a bigger presence is involved with a cavalcade of characters thrown into Doc's world; a heroin-addicted sax player from a surf-rock band (Owen Wilson), a coked- up dentist with the libido of a rabbit (Martin Short), and an LAPD officer/failed actor (Josh Brolin) busting anyone with long-hair and forming a strange love/hate bond with Doc.

The film is a hybrid of comedy, romance, and mystery inspired by the major film-noir flicks of the 1940s, such as Howard Hawks' The Big Sleep and Fritz Lang's Ministry of Fear, except that rather than having Sam Spade chain smoke cigarettes and drink gimlets, you have Doc Sportello smoking endless joints and drinking tequila zombies. Anderson's perspective of Los Angeles in the Seventies has been shown before in Boogie Nights in all its hedonistic glory, but in the case of Inherent Vice, he manages to capture the mood of L.A. in an earthy, yet naive glow that mirrors the energy and fear that erupted in the wake of the Manson murders and the rise of Nixon's silent majority. No matter how you slice it, Anderson's film fits in the tapestry of other L.A. noir classics like Chinatown and L.A. Confidential, but with the comedic antics of a Cheech and Chong film or an episode of Gilligan's Island.

Joaquin Phoenix gives a brilliantly-nuanced performance as Pynchon's anti-hero private eye. Unlike his last collaboration with Anderson on The Master, Phoenix reigns in his eccentricity with a relaxed, yet stoned, approach and manages to not make Sportello into a clichéd character of the counterculture thanks to the sharp wit and dialogue of Anderson's screenplay. Josh Brolin's performance as Bigfoot Bjornsen is brilliantly comical and tragic as he tries to walk amongst the Indica-smoke streets with the power and authority of Jack Webb from Dragnet. Katherine Waterston gives a remarkable performance as Doc's former flame as she gives a raw and naked performance that is both sympathetic and mysterious. Despite being on film for only ten minutes, Martin Short gives a performance of comedic gold with the eccentricity and insanity as equally as funny as his alter egos like Ed Grimley and Jiminy Glick. Among the other actors who fill out the film, Reese Witherspoon as an assistant D.A. and Doc's part-time love interest, Benecio Del Toro as Doc's confidant and Owen Wilson each give solid performances.

Jonny Greenwood, in his third collaboration with Anderson as composer, creates a score that mirrors the Noir-fashioned sounds of Jerry Goldsmith mixed with the psychedelic sounds of the Laurel Canyon music scene of the early Seventies. Also, the music of Neil Young's Harvest album adds an emotional depth to the romantic interludes between Doc and the women in his life. Robert Elswit's cinematography is as excellent as his previous collaborations with Anderson as he manages to capture the long, strange trip into the underbelly of Los Angeles. Inherent Vice may be at times incoherent and somewhat dense as Pynchon's novel, but it is one hell of a trip!


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