actors, authors, books, movies

PTA, Phoenix and Pynchon: Inherent Vice

Joaquin Phoenix with mutton chops? Alright!  Paul Thomas Anderson adapted the 2009 novel by Thomas Pynchon, Inherent Vice. The film version is slotted for release on December 12 and combined with a stellar cast, it’s a neon-pulsating invite for Oscar contention.

Paul Thomas Anderson and Joaquin Phoenix

Inherent vice–the hidden defect in an object that comes to light usually too late.  I suspect it’s Doc.

Josh Brolin, Reese Witherspoon, Jena Malone, Martin Short, Owen Wilson, and Benicio Del Toro join Joaquin Phoenix as the principal cast. There’s a lot of energy and talent here for the ensemble to bounce off each other.

I wanted to read the novel first before the film came out and I am glad I did. It combines crime, mystery, and love set in Hollywood, 1970. Our hero is a pothead private investigator, Larry “Doc” Sportello, who attempts to find his missing ex-girlfriend, Shasta. A bully sergeant reluctantly works with Doc to solve the mystery and connection between Shasta and a missing tycoon. It’s also funny, with quirky characters in bizarre dialogue surrounded by a hippie/surfer setting. I liked the book–it was a fast-paced, easy read. I’ll be curious to see how Paul Thomas Anderson translates Thomas Pynchon’s novel to the screen. Robert Elswit has joined Anderson again as cinematographer. The musical score of late 60s hits–plus the cast–it looks like a fun ride.  Listen to the book trailer narrated by Pynchon himself. It’s the opening of his novel and gives you the vibe.


Looking for summer reading? Give Thomas Pynchon’s book a try.