Inherent Vice | Chicago Reader

Inherent Vice

Inherent Vice would be a landmark in movie history even if it weren't good. More than just an adaptation of Thomas Pynchon's 2009 novel—indeed the first official Pynchon adaptation, period—the film engages with the author's literature on the whole, attempting a filmic analogue to his virtuosic prose. Arguably the James Joyce of postmodern American fiction, Pynchon created a new kind of epic novel with V. (1963) and Gravity's Rainbow (1973), combining literary references high and low, probing considerations of postwar history, goofy counterculture humor (frequently about drugs and sex), and flights of formal experimentation. His books can be overwhelming on a first read, as they feature dozens (sometimes even hundreds) of characters and interweave multiple conspiracy plots, some of which touch on real historic events. How could one make a movie that conveys the depth of Pynchon's literature, to say nothing of his polyphonous language? Continue reading >>



  • Paul Anderson


  • Joaquin Phoenix
  • Josh Brolin
  • Owen Wilson
  • Katherine Waterston
  • Reese Witherspoon
  • Benicio Del Toro
  • Martin Short
  • Jena Malone
  • Joanna Newsom
  • Eric Roberts
  • Sasha Pieterse


  • Paul Anderson
  • Joanne Sellar
  • Daniel Lupi
  • Scott Rudin
  • Adam Somner
  • Steven Mnuchin

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