Paul Thomas Anderson chills out (a bit) with a cosmic, comic crime thriller.
Why is it a contender?
Writer-director Anderson’s last two films—There Will Be Blood and The Master—have both been showered with nominations, but notably fewer wins. Still, his latest—adapted from the novel by Thomas Pynchon—looks to be more audience-friendly than either. It’s the tale of a private dick, played by Joaquin Phoenix, whose search for his missing ex brings him into contact with various oddball LA lowlifes, including but not limited to Josh Brolin, Owen Wilson, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio del Toro and, um, Martin Short.
What could go wrong?
In terms of quality, almost nothing: we’ll eat our own shoes if this isn’t a beautiful, bewitching, thrillingly entertaining ramble. In Oscar terms, though, it could be a trickier proposition: Anderson makes the kind of films the Academy loves to nominate, because it makes them look smart. But they rarely win.
When can I see it?
Inherent Vice has a US release date of December 12, 2014. It’s also likely to play at one of the big festivals, so watch this space.