“Inherent Vice” has enjoyable acting performances but there are simply too many characters to keep track of from start to finish. It would be one thing if they were all significant throughout the film, but many appear for two minutes and then become one of several names that get thrown around in conversation. I can definitely see what the director was going for, but this story probably played out better as a book. Maybe I just don’t react well to Paul Thomas Anderson’s storytelling style; afterall, I found “The Master” to be one of the most disappointing Oscar nominees that I have ever endured and "Punch-Drunk Love" to be the most painful Adam Sandler movie I've seen (and I sat through "Going Overboard"!!!!). Or perhaps the cumbersome plot and relentless stream of profanity, drugs, and nudity were tough to swallow. The music captures the 70’s style, but there are so many period pieces that are better than this one. With so much star power (Phoenix, Brolin, Witherspoon, del Toro, Owen Wilson, Martin Short), you would think that this was a shoe-in for Best Picture or a few of the acting categories. I agree with the Academy’s nomination for Best Costumes, but I even more strongly agree with this lack of nominations in the other categories. “Inherent Vice” is classified as a crime comedy-drama, but I couldn’t find the comedy. Watch at your own risk and prepare yourself for a confusing story, way too many characters, and a lackluster ending.
[Pictured: The only thing that I enjoyed was the fact that Katherine Waterston looks like she was transported directly out of the 70's. Hated the movie, hope it wins the Oscar for Best Costumes]