Joaquin Phoenix

Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’ Is a Breezy, Bizarre Blast

Paul Thomas Anderson took five years to make his 2007 oil epic There Will Be Blood. He took another five years to make 2012’s Scientology-inspired The Master. He banged out his adaptation of Thomas Pynchon’s Inherent Vice in two, and you can feel the difference—in the best possible way. The two films that preceded it marked the filmmaker’s transition from wunderkind to Serious Artist; by turns wrenching, challenging, and borderline impenetrable, they plunged the depths of American history and the American soul. Vice, by contrast, is a slang-y, breezy lark, a picture whose two-and-a-half-hour running time, Oscar-friendly release date, and premiere as the Centerpiece selection at the New York Film Festival make it sound like a more important movie than it is—or, more importantly, than Anderson seems to think it is. After a decade spent making two films that are like pressure cookers, he was clearly ready to blow off some steam. … Read More

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At Last, Here’s Your First Trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson’s ‘Inherent Vice’

With its December release creeping up rapidly, movie geeks were starting to get downright impatient, what with Warner Brothers… Read More

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Joanna Newsom Will Narrate ‘Inherent Vice’ as “Earth Goddess”-Like Character

Finally, Joanna Newsom makes an appearance after her marriage to Adam Samberg—but not, unfortunately, with a new album; rather,… Read More

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25 Must-See Movies For the Fall

Hey there reader, been to the movies lately? If the box office reports are any indication, I’m guessing not — and who can blame you? We’re currently in the weird dead zone between the tentpole blockbusters of the summer and the prestige, Oscar-friendly pictures (and, increasingly, tentpole blockbusters) of the fall. But relief will be here soon enough, so in the interest of helping you mark up your movie-going calendar, we’re looking ahead to the fall films we’re anticipating most. … Read More

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HBO’s Pamela Smart Doc ‘Captivated’ Explores the Insidiousness of the Observer Effect

On May 1, 1990, Pamela Smart came home to her New Hampshire condominium and found her husband Greggory dead, the victim of what seemed, at first, a robbery gone awry. The crime turned out to be much more salacious: Smart, a media coordinator for the local school district, had allegedly seduced a 15-year-old boy and convinced him and three friends to bump off her husband. Maybe you saw the story when it was turned into a TV movie, with Helen Hunt as Smart and Chad Allen as her young lover; more likely, you saw Gus Van Sant’s fictionalized take To Die For, from Joyce Maynard’s novel, with Nicole Kidman and Joaquin Phoenix. Or maybe you remember the media frenzy surrounding Smart’s trial, which was the first such proceeding ever televised in its entirety. That trial — and the many prisms through which it was viewed, at the time and subsequently — is the subject of Captivated: The Trials of Pamela Smart, a gripping new documentary premiering tonight on HBO. … Read More

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Will ‘Snowpiercer’s’ VOD Success Change the Film Industry?

In January of 2006, Magnolia Pictures released Bubble, a micro-budget, semi-improvised independent film about the employees of a small-town doll factory. Two things were notable about the picture: it was from Oscar-winning director Steven Soderbergh, and it was the first “multi-platform” release of note — it was released, simultaneously, to movie theaters, DVD, and video-on-demand (still in its infancy at the time). This was a big, huge deal in 2006; theater owners all but rioted over the potential collapse of their exclusivity window, and about the only playdates the film could wrangle were in the Landmark chain (co-owned by Mark Cuban, who, not coincidentally, also co-owns distributor Magnolia). … Read More

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Who Should Play Morrissey in the New Biopic?

Since the news broke that the team behind the Ian Curtis/Joy Division film Control may be working on another music biopic of the formidable Steven Patrick Morrissey, our absolute favorite sex idiot of music, the man behind The Smiths and immortal lyricist responsible for sulks like, “I am human and I need to be loved/ Just like anyone else does,” we haven’t been able to stop arguing about which actors out there would be fit to stuff some flowers into their back pocket while dancing. … Read More

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Spike Jonze’s ‘Her’ Is a Delicate, Poignant, Tech-Savvy Romance

When we meet Theodore (Joaquin Phoenix), the hero of Spike Jonze’s exquisite new film Her (which closed the New York Film Festival last weekend), he is a reservoir of melancholy. His wife is divorcing him, his job is depressing, and he lives a life of crushing solitude. He is, in short, the perfect audience for OS1, the world’s first artificially intelligent operating system; “It’s not just an operating system, it’s a consciousness,” boast the ads. And sure enough, Samantha, the voice (provided by Scarlett Johansson) that purrs from his desktop and smartphone, is bright, and funny, and wonderful — everything he can no longer imagine in a partner. Early on, as he pours his soul out to her, he utters one of the movie’s key lines: “I can’t believe I’m having this conversation with my computer.” But he does, and he falls in love with her as well. … Read More

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The 2013 Oscar Telecast, By the Numbers

Last night’s Oscar ceremony was… well, it was a thing that happened! As is the custom, there was plenty to like, and plenty to shake your head over sadly while contemplating the state of Hollywood and popular culture and Western civilization in general. But we digress! There’s plenty we could say about the Academy’s award ceremony/Seth MacFarlane Frat Boy Joke-ganza, but instead, we’ve crunched the evening’s numbers to see what they tell us about the big show. The data may surprise you! … Read More

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