THE GOAL FOR 2018: 200 MOVIES WATCHED BY MIDNIGHT NEW YEAR'S EVE!  (AFTER TOPPING OUT AT 194 in 2017)

CAN HE DO IT?

THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

​​THE WEBER MOVIE COUNTDOWN

INHERENT VICE (2014)


#51 of this year's movie countdown lands us on 2014's Inherent Vice. This is a tough one to describe as Joaquin Phoenix is a stoner PI in 1970 Southern Calofornia named Larry "Doc" Sportello, who is asked to help find his ex-girlfriend's current lover. Her name is Shasta Fay Hepworth (Katherine Waterston, daughter of Sam). She's stunning in a flower child way and he can hardly refuse. And off we go into a Raymond Chandler-style plot with over-the-top characters, character names and more familiar faces than you can imagine. This is darkly comedic but there is a certain tone, capturing a daytime noir feel, an LA noir that reminded me of the last film that I used that phrase about, the most unfunny deadly serious and effective 1974 Hickey and Boggs with Bill Cosby and Robert Culp. They were also PIs but that story was no laughing matter at all. It also recalls Altman's The Long Goodbye. But I digress. Inherent Vice is directed by the amazing Paul Thomas Anderson, who typically takes all kinds of chances (Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch Drunk Love). This has cult film written all over it. The screenplay is thick with plot and character but the best way to enjoy this is to not get caught up in the details, which are only superficially important, and watch these characters, especially Phoenix, Waterston and Josh Brolin as Doc's nemesis, a flattop cop that hates hippies. If you are adventurous this is definitely worth your time. This is about tone not surface coherence. Btw, the screenplay was Oscar-nominated.

TLA one-word review: noirish