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Now that the summer season is coming to a close, we can start turning our attention towards the fall and, specifically, awards season. And there's some amazing stuff coming down the pike. The next few months will be delivering new titles from filmmakers like David Fincher, Christopher Nolan, Bennett Miller, and Ridley Scott - but right now we're going to focus on the latest feature from Paul Thomas Anderson. As a follow-up to his captivating 2012 drama The Master, the director is next bringing us an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's mystery novel Inherent Vice, and, as you can see above, today we have our very first look.
Thanks to Entertainment Weekly, we now have the first official still from Inherent Vice, which delivers our premiere peek at the characters played by Joaquin Phoenix (in his second go-round with Anderson) and Josh Brolin. In the film, Phoenix stars as Larry "Doc" Sportello, a pothead private eye living in Los Angeles in 1970 (which explains the extreme facial hair you see above). The story begins as a young woman named Shasta Fay (played by newcomer Katherine Waterston), Doc's ex, comes to the private detective hoping that she can get him to help her track down her wealthy land developer boyfriend who has gone missing. While I can't tell you exactly how he fits into the plot having not read the book, Brolin will be playing Detective Christian "Bigfoot" Bjornsen, who is Doc's nemesis in the Los Angeles Police Department. EW's interview with Brolin about the character doesn't reveal much, but it does have the actor talking about how he becomes friends with a frozen piece of fruit (no, I'm not sure what that means either).
While Phoenix and Brolin could easily headline any Hollywood movie by themselves these days, the reality is that the ensemble Anderson has put together for Inherent Vice is easily one of the best of his career (and that's actually saying quite a lot). Joining the two aforementioned Oscar-nominees in the film are Reese Witherspoon, Jena Malone, Benicio Del Toro, Owen Wilson, Michael K. Williams, Maya Rudolph, Martin Short, Sasha Pieterse, Martin Donovan and 22 Jump Street's Jillian Bell.
It sadly may still be a while before we get a full trailer for Inherent Vice given that the film isn't scheduled to be out in theaters until December 12th. That said, some audiences will be getting an early look at the movie, as the movie has been added to the line-up of this year's New York Film Festival. Those who have already seen it have been positive, and described the feature as "bonkers." Paul Thomas Anderson is unquestionably one of the most talented filmmakers making movies today, and we are counting down the days until we get to his his latest for ourselves.