Inherent Vice Simplified: 200 Words or Less

"As long as American life was something to be escaped from, the cartel could always be sure of a bottomless pool of new customers."

A drug-fueled crime comedy with the added thematic complexity of that rare director who works well with the details of actors' performances while keeping in mind the bigger picture of the film. An all-star ensemble pushed to their peaks by a restrained camera that would rather hold on a long, slow zoom than constantly edit itself into oblivion. An effortless 70's vibe with an uproarious sense of humor that emerges naturally from the characters rather than staging artificial gags. A purposefully convoluted story about a stoner with fading memory which leaves us wondering what our lives mean when we spend so much time asking questions and when any answers we might find will eventually be forgotten.

"Yet there is no avoiding time, the sea of time, the sea of memory and forgetfulness, the years of promise, gone and unrecoverable, of the land almost allowed to claim its better destiny, only to have that claim jumped by evildoers known all too well, and taken instead and held hostage to the future we must live in now forever."

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(PS. On an unrelated note, Inherent Vice has some of the best promotional art this year.)