Another Vice Impression

Last night I spoke to a friend who knows a woman who recently saw Paul Thomas Anderson‘s Inherent Vice (Warner Bros., 12.12). Her initial nutshell reaction was that she “didn’t get it” because…well, how could I know? But one of the apparent blockages was that it doesn’t adhere to a precise narrative through-line that led anywhere in particular (i.e., no third-act payoff). But then she started to understand it a bit more when she began to think about it the next day. A film that’s more about the journey than the destination. I told this guy that three months ago an industry friend who’d seen Vice had described it in a similar way, calling it “brilliant and mesmerizing in an atmospheric, non-linear sort of way” as well as “Lebowski-esque.”

As reported on 7.2, I’ve heard “convincing chatter” that Vice will debut at the New York Film Festival.

  • cinefan35

    I am really hoping that it does premiere at this year’s NYFF – I can’t wait to see it.

  • BubbaJoe

    Sounds like a PTA movie to me! Can barely wait for this one.

  • Christopher A. Otto

    On one hand, this sounds pretty similar to some of the early reports on The Master. … On the other hand, PTA isn’t exactly a third-act/narrative-through-line director. Boogie Nights and Magnolia have crescendos in the third act, for sure. But they are by no means traditional and PTA isn’t exactly a tidy-ending kind of director. Lewbowski-esque certainly wouldn’t be a bad thing. Nor would Long-Goodbye-esque be a bad thing.

    • Paul Marzagalli

      I would bank on far more Long Goodbye than Big Lebowski. It won’t be as ridiculous as Lebowski, so that will be an unfair comparison if critics start describing it along those lines. The book at least is definitely Altman-esque in its late 1960s California zeitgeist. Doc (the main character) is very much like Altman’s Marlowe in the sense that he’s out of step with everyone around him but we sympathize with him b/c we quickly realize how full of shit most everyone else is.

      • Christopher A. Otto

        I need to go see The Long Goodbye again, pronto. So damn good.

        • Paul Marzagalli

          I saw it once when I was way too young to appreciate it. Discovered it again around five years ago and absolutely fell in love with it. One of my favorites and, along with MASH, my favorite of Altman’s.

  • Christopher A. Otto

    Actually, has anyone called it FUNNY yet? I would be surprised if this isn’t his funniest movie, perhaps second only to Punch-Drunk Love (where the humor was, to be sure, quite painful but still very real)

    • If it’s a stoner flick, and that seems irriefutable, it’s at last dryly funny. Dry-mouth funny, I mean. Giggles, dry-mouth, time-lapse, munchies.

      • Christopher A. Otto

        Kind of makes we want to know more about this woman who “didn’t get it.” … I’m not saying this film will definitely be great. But I’d be surprised if it’s difficult to follow. Then again, in our attention-deficit society, are movies like Pulp Fiction and The Big Lebowski harder and harder to sell/explain to the audience?

    • BubbaJoe

      Well, the script sure was funny. This won’t be PDL violent comedy on display here though, this is a straight-up Cheech and Chong stoner comedy about personas and various vibes. Not really sure if it’ll be any more accessible/audience friendly than The Master, but it’ll for sure be a fun ride.

      • Deliox

        Comedy? The book is frequently funny, but it’s not a comedy. Is the script very different?

  • Bit surprised that anybody would go to a PT Anderson adaptation of a Thomas Pynchon novel expecting a precise narrative through-line.

    • Christopher A. Otto

      We don’t even know if this person knew who PTA or Pynchon were going into the film.

    • I wouldn’t be surprised if WB only got viewers who were completely unaware of Anderson and the source material. Completely proves Anderson right for hating these tests.

  • Lou Rawls’ Ego

    Looks fun.

    Hopefully it’s as good as Altman’s take on Marlowe.

  • cyanic

    I love The Master. I should have dibs on seeing this before its allotted release date.