Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of Inherent Vice has been a few years in the making, and is a huge Oscar contender in the coming awards race.

Robert Downey, Jr. had, at one point, been poised to take the lead as Larry ‘Doc’ Sportello, but ultimately the part went to Joaquin Phoenix, who could well emerge as a Best Actor candidate in the coming months.

This year’s NYFF played host to the world premieres of both Anderson’s Inherent Vice and David Fincher’s Gone Girl, sure to give each other a run for their money when the nominations are announced next year, and now Warner Bros. has launched a brilliant first trailer for all of us who couldn’t make it out to its New York debut.

Here’s the trailer,


Paul Thomas Anderson’s wild and entrancing new movie, the very first adaptation of a Thomas Pynchon novel, is a cinematic time machine, placing the viewer deep within the world of the paranoid, hazy L.A. dope culture of the early ’70s. It’s not just the look (which is ineffably right, from the mutton chops and the peasant dresses to the battered screen doors and the neon glow), it’s the feel, the rhythm of hanging out, of talking yourself into a state of shivering ecstasy or fear or something in between. Joaquin Phoenix goes all the way for Anderson (just as he did in The Master) playing Doc Sportello, the private investigator searching for his ex-girlfriend Shasta (Katherine Waterston, a revelation), menaced at every turn by Josh Brolin as the telegenic police detective “Bigfoot” Bjornsen.

Phoenix is joined by one of Anderson’s best casts yet, with support from Owen Wilson, Katherine Waterston, Jena Malone, Josh Brolin, Reese Witherspoon, Benicio del Toro, Martin Short, Eric Roberts, and Michael K. Williams.

Anderson is directing from his own script, the first adaptation of any Thomas Pynchon work, with Pynchon, renowned for being a reclusive writer, successfully keeping himself out of the public eye for decades, thought to have been involved to some extent with overseeing Anderson’s adaptation.

Inherent Vice will have an early relese in the US on December 12th, qualifying it for the Oscars, before opening wide on January 9th, with its UK release set for January 30th.

Inherent VicePoster