Its not like the New York Film Festival needs a boost in their repertoire of A-list international-cinema headliners, but writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson’s new movie is a huge get. The director of Boogie Nights and Punch Drunk Love has been chosen to premiere his 7th feature, Inherent Vice, as the centerpiece gala of the 52nd New York Film Festival on October 4th of this year.
Inherent Vice’s plot focuses on drug-addicted private detective Larry “Doc” Sportello, played by Joaquin Phoenix. After years without seeing her, Sportello is approach by his ex-girlfriend with a story about a plot to kidnap her billionaire land developer boyfriend. The script was adapted by Anderson and apparently closely follows the novel by Thomas Pynchon on which it’s based. The story is set in the drug-fueled counter-culture of the 1970s and is described by The New Yorker critic Louis Medan as “a slightly spoofy take on hard boiled crime fiction, a story in which the characters smoke dope and watch Gilligan’s Island instead of sitting around a night club knocking back J&Bs”. The New York Film Festival Director and Selection Committee Chair, Kent Jones hailed the Anderson adaptation for being “a journey through the past, bringing the texture of the early 70s SoCal counterculture back to full blown life. It’s a wildly funny, deeply soulful, richly detailed, and altogether stunning movie.”
This is of course the follow-up to Anderson’s 2012 The Master, which also featured Phoenix in the starring role. Other cast members of Inherent Vice include Josh Brolin (Labor Day), Reese Witherspoon (Mud), Owen Wilson (The Internship), Martin Short (last seen on movie screens in The Santa Clause 3), Maya Rudolph (Away We Go), and Benicio Del Toro (Savages). Inherent Vice is set for a limited release on December 12, 2014 and a wide release January 9, 2015.
This will be the third time Anderson’s work has appeared in the New York Film Festival (the others were Boogie Nights and Punch Drunk Love). Other movies to centerpiece the festival in previous years were Not Fade Away, The Secret Life of Walter Mitty, and My Weekend With Marilyn.