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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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Popularity
1,194 ( 16)
Nominated for 2 Oscars. Another 16 wins & 93 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:

Vicio propio See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$20,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$328,184, 12 December 2014, Limited Release

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

When Doc walks into the L.A.P.D. Headquarters, there is a monument with Chief William Parker's name on it. Nick Nolte played him in Gangster Squad (2013), which also starred Josh Brolin as a hard-nosed L.A.P.D. officer. See more »

Goofs

In the restaurant discussing the Golden Fang, Doc and Sauncho Smilax bring up Howard Hughes and his purchases in Las Vegas real estate. The movie takes place in 1970, Howard Hughes dies in 1976, yet Doc refers to Howard Hughes in the past tense when he says, "Howard Hughes was Italian?" as if he were dead. See more »

Quotes

Doc Sportello: So, what've you been up to?
Japonica Fenway: Escaping, mostly, and I escape real good.
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 »

Connections

Features Red Nightmare (1962) See more »

Soundtracks

Simba
Written and Performed by Les Baxter
Courtesy of Capitol Records, LLC
Under license from Universal Music Enterprises
See more »

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User Reviews

 
Paul Thomas Anderson has created an odd monster with a stunning ensemble and surreal standouts...
4 October 2014 | by Clayton DavisSee all my reviews

Let's start this off with a reward offering. I'll pay anyone $20 if they can explain to me, in detail, the full plot and synopsis of "Inherent Vice," front to back. That's a good place to start, eh?

The New York Film Festival press and audiences given the gift of a first look at Paul Thomas Anderson's hotly anticipated "Inherent Vice" starring Joaquin Phoenix and an all-star cast. Based on the novel by Thomas Pynchon, rumors flew about for months that the novel is a tough read and that the translation from book to film could be confusing in the hands of an auteur filmmaker like Anderson. Well, to a certain extent, they are absolutely correct. "Inherent Vice" is such a mind trip, one that will probably make you want to enroll in drug rehab by the end credits. What's amazing about it is even though you, nor I will probably "get it," and there's way more questions than answers at the moment, I cannot wait to revisit it again to start seeking those things out. You can see a little of Anderson's entire filmography.

Our "basic synopsis" is the story of Larry "Doc" Sportello, who in the 1970's, begins to search for his missing former girlfriend. The other things that accompany those facts, is a hallucination of laughs, satire, and magnificent filmmaking abilities.

Let's start with thanking the good Lord for Paul Thomas Anderson and his love of 35mm. Even though the screening did not show the film in that quality (the public screening however did), there's a charm that's still embedded within all of Anderson's film that pays homage to all the classic films of history. This is also partly thanks to Academy Award winning DP Robert Elswit, who can frame a scene to tension and success. Much like his past efforts such as "The Master," "There Will Be Blood," and "Boogie Nights," there's a magnitude of a visual master's exercises on display. He crafts provocative and engaging players that fully mesmerize you for its duration.

On the top of his game, once again is the genius that is Joaquin Phoenix. He's hilarious, and nothing like "The Dude" as many will compare him. He's a three-dimensional character with layers, fully invested in the story, and best of all, utterly believable. In a quirky, detective mystery such as this, you expect some outrageous behavior that can sometimes run false. Call me crazy, I believed nearly all. Phoenix is pure, ludicrous, and keeps you fixated entirely. You couldn't ask for a more dependable thespian at this time in cinema. There's even a weird but obvious comparison to Freddie Quell, as if Freddie's illegitimate child got into drugs and missed out on the alcoholism.

The supporting players are as rich as any Anderson creation before. Finally back to large ensembles, where he has shined time and time again in films like "Magnolia," he assembles one of the strongest casts seen in 2014. Like a rock and roll star, Josh Brolin owns the stage with a savage and vicious dedication to his character, he stands out as one of the finest performances of the year. I adored him, and it might be his finest outing yet, and something that could ring him some much deserved awards attention.

If you don't know her name yet, Katherine Waterston will be on the tongues of many for years to come. As Shasta Fay Hepworth, you'll find an enigmatic character with an entrancing and sensual aura. At times, feeling like a mixture of Rollergirl from "Boogie Nights" and Claudia Wilson Gator from "Magnolia," Waterston is one of engrossing and compelling characters of the year. It's an awards worthy performance, baring the soul of a performer that understands her purpose, Waterston is plain magnificent.

You will get big chuckles from Benicio del Toro, Owen Wilson, and Martin Short, all of which make their mark. In one strong scene, Jena Malone leaves her mark while Michael Kenneth Williams could have set the screen on fire with more time than what he was given. Sasha Pieterse (fabulous as always), Reese Witherspoon (reminding us why we loved Johnny and June Cash together so much), Eric Roberts (yearning for a larger role at this time in his career), Joanna Newsom (our new female Morgan Freeman of this generation's narrators), and Maya Rudolph (who needs to team up with hubby more often), all shine.

Why the world isn't recognizing Jonny Greenwood as one of the most innovative and talented composers yet is beyond me. Once again, everything on-screen is elevated by his eerie composition and whimsical take on the 70's aura. Not to mention, the soundtrack may be THE album of the year. You can't tell me that you won't have that on repeat seconds after viewing. You also get a richly realized costume design by Mark Bridges and honest sets by David Crank and Amy Wells. It's a technical masterpiece for sure.

"Inherent Vice" is such a strange demon. Hard to say you love, if you don't comprehend it all yet, but with enough magic to keep coming back for more. It's one of the best offbeat and pecuilar monsters seen on screen this year, and you just might fall for its potent nature.


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