NYFF52 Melissa’s Review: ‘Inherent Vice’ – Will You Dig It?

309431id1h_InherentVice_Teaser_27x40_1Sheet_6C.inddThere’s usually one movie that’s more anticipated than all others during the New York Film Festival, and this year it’s Inherent Vice. I won’t tell you how long I waited in the press line, but I will tell you it was cold, rainy and worth every minute. I hadn’t seen the trailer, I only knew it was Paul Thomas Anderson and Joaquin Phoenix. After last year’s two-punch of The Immigrant and Her, I was even more on board for another Joaquin Phoenix film. 

After seeing it, I watched the trailer and it’s a perfect teaser to this wild and crazy trip filled with drama, suspense and hilarity. Watch here:

Remember the first time you saw The Big Lebowski? You weren’t quite sure how all the stories fit together but it was such a great time, you didn’t care. For me, with every viewing, I was able to pull back the layers and enjoy it more and more. This is how I would describe the Inherent Vice experience.

Fans of Paul Thomas Anderson know he loves to shoot on film. Here he is at the festival press conference talking about it:

The film has a narration by a female member of the cast. A question was asked about the choice of narration and how his films are concerned with masculinity. Anderson seemed perplexed by the masculinity part and gave a superb answer about narration.

Next Anderson talks about the tone of the film and adapting from Thomas Pynchon’s book:

Also during the press conference, the cast was asked about working on the set with Anderson. My absolute favorite was Michael K. Williams.

Unfortunately, I have not read the novel by Thomas Pynchon, of which this adaptation is based, but what I’ve heard from others, it rings true in dialogue and spirit. I really loved everything about it from the camera movements to the performances. Have you seen this cast?! It’s filled with veterans and new blood.

Favorite performances:

Hong Chau (Jade) – I swear I’ve seen her before, but by the looks of her resume, I have not. She has a very memorable voice and elevates every scene without overshadowing.

Michael K. Williams (Tariq Khalil) – I have a feeling his part was larger in the book, but it was still nice to see him on the big screen after his roles in Boardwalk Empire and The Wire.

Martin Short (Dr Blatnoyd) – Seriously. You’ll remember how much you love him after you see him in this.

Josh Brolin (Bigfood Bjornsen) – An absolute perfect role for him. He’s tough but really funny. His relationship with Doc could be a TV series.

Joaquin Phoenix (Doc) – He disappears into every role and this is no exception.

About Melissa Hanson

Melissa Hanson aka Dial M For Melissa - Managing Editor / Podcast Producer - Growing up, Melissa’s favorite destination was always the video store and would agonize over whether to watch something new or to rewatch a favorite. Things have not changed. Follow on Twitter @DialMForMelissa