Paul Thomas Anderson has fun again(?!) in New Trailer for Inherent Vice, starring a heavily-sideburned Joaquin Phoenix

Hurrah! The first trailer for the upcoming Paul Thomas Anderson film Inherent Vice has finally arrived! Starring Joaquin Phoenix and Josh Brolin, it looks beautiful, powerful, and…funny? Watch it below…

So, what do you think? Tweet @MovieMasticator your opinions!

Inherent Vice seems to signify PTA returning to a more heavily comic tone for the first time in over ten years since Punch-Drunk Love in 2002. His recent outings have been his most serious to date (The Master, There Will Be Blood), lacking the

'I can still do comedy, I swear!'
‘I can still do comedy, I swear!’

comedic crack of his earlier work, albeit not lacking any of the quality. Inherent Vice seems an entirely different beast, boasting a humorous edge that seems oddly refreshing considering it’s how PTA made his name in Boogie Nights.

Maybe it’s the sight of Joaquin Phoenix stretching his funny bones, sporting a delightful bout of facial hair, who has always hinted he could carry a more heavily comedic role in the past with outings such as his sidekick schtick in Signs, as well as his lighter, awkward character in the brilliant Her last year. Or was it this year? Damn you, oddly placed Awards Season, for mangling the Gregorian calendar!

PTA seems to haul a hefty fan-base with him wherever he goes. While it’s hard to jump on board the PTA bandwagon this late in the day (The Master is probably the most impenetrable film of all to show to a PTA newbie), it’s a joy for those already a passenger as he continues to mold his visually stunning, patient, emotionally charged style round a diverse range of genres.

Beware the sideburns
Joaquin Phoenix with a cat on his cheek

There is something quite comforting about watching a PTA film in this sense. Whether it is modern-day (post-modern?) love stories (Punch-Drunk Love), westerns (There Will Be Blood) or sprawling ensemble pieces about the 1970s pornography industry (Boogie Nights), you still get the distinct camera movement that is a love-child between Wes Anderson and Martin Scorsese, you still get the heightened-reality mise-en-scene most pertinently seen in Boogie Nights and Punch-Drunk Love, and you still get the inflections of comedy, often slapstick, thrown in for good measure.

It was no holds barred. Paul would say: ‘We want to go Tom and Jerry on all this’ – Joaquin Phoenix

A new element in this trailer we haven’t ever seen from PTA is the narrator, which carves some exciting new avenues for him to explore. Body-less, thoughtful and whimsical, Joanna Newsom’s voice-over seems to give it a dreamy, fable-like quality. How do you feel about it? Do you dislike narration, think it’s beneath PTA? Tweet @MovieMasticator your thoughts!