Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson. 2014, 148 mins. 70mm. With Joaquin Phoenix, Josh Brolin, Katherine Waterston, Owen Wilson, Joanna Newsom, Eric Roberts. In a California beach community at the dawn of the 1970s, pothead private detective Larry “Doc” Sportello (Phoenix) is visited by former lover Shasta (Waterston), who’s embroiled with Mickey, her current real estate magnate boyfriend. When Mickey and Shasta disappear, Doc navigates a psychedelic world of surfers, stoners, and an aggro pancake-loving cop to solve a case that spirals further and further away the deeper he goes. Paul Thomas Anderson’s atmospheric and loyal adaption of Thomas Pynchon’s countercultural crime novel captures the humor, paranoia, and labyrinthine narrative of the source material while maintaining his own brand of loopy long-take visual grandeur and sonic pathos.
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