Here Are The 2017 Nominations of The Florida Film Critics!


Oddly, the Florida Film Critics showed very little love to The Florida Project.  The acclaimed film only received one nomination, for Willem DaFoe.

BEST PICTURE

  • “Call Me By Your Name”
  • “Dunkirk”
  • “Get Out”
  • “Lady Bird”
  • “The Shape Of Water”
  • “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Christopher Nolan – “Dunkirk”
  • Greta Gerwig – “Lady Bird”
  • Guillermo del Toro – “The Shape of Water”
  • Jordan Peele – “Get Out”
  • Martin McDonagh – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

BEST ACTOR

  • Daniel Kaluuya – “Get Out”
  • Gary Oldman – “Darkest Hour”
  • James Franco – “The Disaster Artist”
  • Robert Pattinson – “Good Time”
  • Timothée Chalamet – “Call Me By Your Name”

BEST ACTRESS

  • Cynthia Nixon – “A Quiet Passion
  • Frances McDormand – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
  • Margot Robbie – “I, Tonya”
  • Sally Hawkins – “The Shape of Water”
  • Saoirse Ronan – “Lady Bird”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Armie Hammer – “Call Me By Your Name”
  • Barry Keoghan – “The Killing of A Sacred Deer”
  • Michael Stuhlbarg – “Call Me By Your Name”
  • Sam Rockwell – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
  • Willem Dafoe – “The Florida Project”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Allison Janney – “I, Tonya”
  • Holly Hunter – “The Big Sick”
  • Hong Chau – “Downsizing”
  • Laurie Metcalf – “Lady Bird”
  • Mary J. Blige – “Mudbound”

BEST ENSEMBLE

  • “Dunkirk”
  • “Get Out”
  • “I, Tonya”
  • “Lady Bird”
  • “The Big Sick”
  • “The Shape Of Water”
  • “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • “Get Out”
  • “Lady Bird”
  • “The Big Sick”
  • “The Shape Of Water”
  • “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

  • “Call Me By Your Name”
  • “Marjorie Prime”
  • “Molly’s Game”
  • “The Disaster Artist”
  • “The Lost City of Z”
  • “Wonderstruck”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

  • “Blade Runner 2049”
  • “Dunkirk”
  • “Personal Shopper”
  • “The Post”
  • “The Shape of Water”
  • “Wonderstruck”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

BEST ART DIRECTION/PRODUCTION DESIGN

  • Blade Runner 2049”
  • “Dunkirk”
  • “Phantom Thread”
  • “The Shape of Water”
  • “Wonderstruck”

BEST SCORE

  • “Blade Runner 2049”
  • “Dunkirk”
  • “Phantom Thread”
  • “The Shape of Water”
  • “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • “Dawson City: Frozen Time”
  • “Ex Libris: New York Public Library”
  • “Faces Places”
  • “Jane”
  • “Joan Didion: The Center Will Not Hold”
  • “Kedi”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

  • “BPM”
  • “First They Killed My Father”
  • “Loveless”
  • “The Ornithologist”
  • “The Square”

BEST ANIMATED FILM

BEST FIRST FILM

BREAKOUT AWARD

  • Barry Keoghan
  • Greta Gerwig
  • Jordan Peele
  • Millicent Simmonds
  • Timothée Chalamet

Here Are The SAG Nominations for 2017!


Mudbound

As far as Oscar precursors are concerned, all of the critic groups are fun to follow but the guilds are what you really need to pay attention to.  The reason is simple enough.  Critics may have influence but they’re not members of the Academy.

The Guilds, on the other hand, do include members who are voting members of the Academy.  And the biggest branch of the Academy is the Actors Branch.  That’s why the Screen Actors Guild nominations are traditionally viewed as being one of the most important of the precursors.

Of course, getting a SAG nomination does not always translate into an Oscar nomination.  It’s rare that the SAG noms and the Oscar noms line up 100%.  I can still remember, back in 2015, when we were all briefly excited when Beasts of No Nation and Straight Outta Compton picks up Best Ensemble nominations.  Of course, when the Oscar noms came out, Compton got one nomination and Beasts was totally shut out.

Another thing to keep in mind is that, according to Clayton Davis on Awards Circuit, the screeners for The Post and Phantom Thread weren’t sent out in time for either of those movies to be a factor in the voting.  Believe me, I was really excited when it seemed as if The Post had been totally snubbed.  The last thing I want to do next year is have to sit through another one of Meryl Streep’s speeches about how she’s just an average, middle class person from New Jersey who went to public school.  (Meryl always comes across like the type who would brag about being on a first name basis with her maid.)  But, it would appear that there is a perfectly understandable reason for The Post‘s lack of a nomination.

Anyway, here’s my main takeaways:

  1. Get Out‘s Daniel Kaluuya is emerging as a pretty strong contender for best actor.  I’d be surprised if he actually won over Timothee Chalamet and Gary Oldman but it does more and more likely that he will at least receive a nomination.
  2. Denzel Washington for Roman Israel, Esq?  Did anyone actually see that movie?  I didn’t so I don’t know if Denzel’s nomination was deserved or not.  Washington got a Golden Globe nomination as well.
  3. The biggest surprises in Best Supporting Actor?  Not only did Armie Hammer and Michael Stuhlbarg not get nominated but Steve Carell did.
  4. My favorite nomination is The Big Sick for Best Ensemble.
  5. Mudbound keeps its Oscar hopes alive, with its nomination here.
  6. I don’t have a sixth reason but I don’t do odd numbers.

Here are the film nominations:

Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture
THE BIG SICK
GET OUT
LADY BIRD
MUDBOUND
THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI

Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role
Timothée Chalamet, CALL ME BY YOUR NAME
James Franco, THE DISASTER ARTIST
Daniel Kaluuya, GET OUT
Gary Oldman, DARKEST HOUR
Denzel Washington, ROMAN J. ISRAEL, ESQ.

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role
Judi Dench, VICTORIA AND ABDUL
Sally Hawkins, THE SHAPE OF WATER
Frances McDormand, THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
Margot Robbie, I, TONYA
Saoirse Ronan, LADY BIRD

Outstanding Performance by Male Actor in a Supporting Role
Steve Carell, BATTLE OF THE SEXES
Willem Dafoe, THE FLORIDA PROJECT
Woody Harrelson, THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI
Richard Jenkins, THE SHAPE OF WATER
Sam Rockwell, THREE BILLBOARDS OUTSIDE EBBING, MISSOURI

Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
Mary J. Blige, MUDBOUND
Hong Chau, DOWNSIZING
Holly Hunter, THE BIG SICK
Allison Janney, I, TONYA
Laurie Metcalf, LADY BIRD

Outstanding Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture
BABY DRIVER
DUNKIRK
LOGAN
WAR FOR THE PLANET OF THE APES
WONDER WOMAN

The Big Sick

And, finally, here are the nominations of the St. Louis Film Critics Association!


As soon as I post this, I will be caught up on sharing all of the precursor awards here on the Shattered Lens (or, at the very least, all of the precursor awards that have been announced so far.  There’s several more to come).  It’s not a minute to soon either!  Tomorrow, the SAG Nominations will be announced.  That’s one of the biggest of the precursors.

Anyway, the St. Louis Film Critics Association announce their nominations yesterday.  The winners will be announced on December 17th.

Here are the nominees!

BEST PICTURE

  • “Get Out”
  • “Lady Bird”
  • “The Shape of Water”
  • “The Post”
  • “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”

BEST DIRECTOR

  • Greta Gerwig, “Lady Bird”
  • Jordan Peele, “Get Out”
  • Denis Villeneuve, “Blade Runner 2049”
  • Guillermo del Toro, “The Shape of Water”
  • Steven Spielberg, “The Post”

BEST ACTRESS

  • Kristen Stewart, “Personal Shopper”
  • Saoirse Ronan, “Lady Bird”
  • Sally Hawkins, “The Shape of Water”
  • Meryl Streep, “The Post”
  • Frances McDormand, “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”

BEST ACTOR

  • Daniel Day-Lewis, “Phantom Thread”
  • Daniel Kaluuya, “Get Out”
  • James Franco, “The Disaster Artist”
  • Tom Hanks,”The Post”
  • Gary Oldman, “Darkest Hour”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

  • Kristin Scott Thomas, “Darkest Hour”
  • Holly Hunter, “The Big Sick”
  • Laurie Metcalf, “Lady Bird”
  • Hong Chau, “Downsizing”
  • Octavia Spencer, “The Shape of Water”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

  • Michael Shannon, “The Shape of Water”
  • Sam Rockwell, “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”
  • Richard Jenkins, “The Shape of Water”
  • William Dafoe, “The Florida Project”
  • Woody Harrelson, “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

  • “The Big Sick”
  • “Lady Bird”
  • “Get Out”
  • “Three Billboards outside Ebbing, Missouri”
  • “The Shape of Water”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

BEST SOUNDTRACK

BEST EDITING

  • “Darkest Hour”
  • “The Post”
  • “Baby Driver”
  • “The Shape of Water”
  • “Dunkirk”

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

BEST SCORE

BEST DOCUMENTARY

  • “Jane”
  • “Last Man in Aleppo”
  • “Never Say Goodbye: The Kshe Documentary”
  • “Whose Streets?”
  • “City of Ghosts”

BEST ANIMATED MOVIE

  • “Despicable Me 3”
  • “Loving Vincent”
  • The LEGO Batman Movie”
  • “Coco”
  • “Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie”

BEST FOREIGN FILM

  • “Frantz”
  • “The Square”
  • “Graduation”
  • “Land of Mine”
  • “First They Killed My Father”

BEST SCENE

  • Harlem Shuffle Opening, “Baby Driver”
  • Elio’s Dad’s Monologue, “Call Me By Your Name”
  • Stairway Fight, “Atomic Blonde”
  • Coach Directing The Tempest, “Lady Bird”
  • ‘Oh, hi, Mark,’ “The Disaster Artist

WORST FILM

Here Are The Typically Strange Golden Globe Nominations!


“I’ll show you a pair of golden globes!”

Yes, I know, I know.  I say that every year.  I’ll probably say it next year as well.  There’s no joke that I can’t run into the ground.

Anyway, this year’s Golden Globe nominations were announced this morning and they are as strange as always.  I have to admit that I kinda hate the Golden Globes.  At least in my memory, there’s never been a year that the Golden Globes haven’t felt somewhat unsavory.  The general agreement seems to be that the members of the Hollywood Foreign Press will nominate anyone who is willing to come have a drink with them.  And yet, the Golden Globes continue to have such an outsized influence on who actually gets an Oscar nomination.

This year, the biggest shocks were:

  1. The Big Sick getting totally snubbed in every category, despite the fact that the Golden Globes specifically split their awards into Drama and Comedy categories and…
  2. …the totally unexpected strong showing of Ridley Scott’s All The Money In The World.  It picked up nominations for Best Actress (Michelle Williams), Best Director (Ridley Scott), and Best Supporting Actor (Christopher Plummer, who just finished filming his role a little less than a month ago).

So, does this make All The Money In The World a sudden Oscar contender?  Maybe.  But then again, maybe not.  It does make both the film and Plummer a part of the conversation.  If, in a few days from now, Plummer picks up a SAG nomination, he will definitely start to look more like a probable contender.

Anyway, here are the Golden Globe film nominations:

Best Motion Picture – Drama
Call Me By Your Name
Dunkirk
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
The Disaster Artist
Get Out
The Greatest Showman
I, Tonya
Lady Bird

Best Motion Picture – Animated
The Boss Baby
The Breadwinner
Coco
Ferdinand
Loving Vincent

Best Motion Picture – Foreign Language
A Fantastic Woman, Chile First They Killed My Father, Cambodia
In the Fade, Germany
Loveless, Russia
The Square, Sweden

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
Jessica Chastain, Molly’s Game
Sally Hawkins, The Shape of Water
Frances McDormand, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Meryl Streep, The Post
Michelle Williams, All the Money in the World

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
Timothée Chalamet, Call Me by Your Name
Tom Hanks, The Post
Daniel Day-Lewis, Phantom Thread
Gary Oldman, Darkest Hour
Denzel Washington, Roman J. Israel, Esq.

Best Performance by an Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Judi Dench, Victoria & Abdul
Helen Mirren, The Leisure Seeker
Margot Robbie, I, Tonya
Saoirse Ronan, Lady Bird
Emma Stone, Battle of the Sexes

Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
Steve Carell, Battle of the Sexes
Ansel Elgort, Baby Driver
James Franco, The Disaster Artist
Hugh Jackman, The Greatest Showman
Daniel Kaluuya, Get Out

Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture:
Willem Dafoe, The Florida Project
Armie Hammer, Call Me by Your Name
Richard Jenkins, The Shape of Water
Christopher Plummer, All the Money in the World
Sam Rockwell, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in any Motion Picture
Mary J. Blige, Mudbound
Hong Chau, Downsizing
Allison Janney, I, Tonya
Octavia Spencer, The Shape of Water
Laurie Metcalf, Lady Bird

Best Director – Motion Picture
Guillermo del Toro, The Shape of Water
Martin McDonagh, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri
Christopher Nolan, Dunkirk”
Ridley Scott, All the Money in the World
Steven Spielberg, The Post

Best Screenplay – Motion Picture
Lady Bird
Molly’s Game
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Original Score – Motion Picture
Dunkirk
Phantom Thread
The Post
The Shape of Water
Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri

Best Original Song – Motion Picture
“Home,” from Ferdinand
“Mighty River,” from Mudbound
“Remember Me” from Coco
“The Star” from The Star
“This is Me,” The Greatest Showman

Here Are The Nominations For the 23rd Annual Critics Choice Awards!


Awards season is in full swing!  I’m running a little bit behind in updating all of the precursor awards here on the Shattered Lens but hopefully, I’ll have the site up-to-date by the end of today!

For instance, today, the Broadcast Film Critics Association announced their nominations and, just judging from the number of nominations it received, it looks like they really, really liked Guillermo Del Toro’s The Shape of Water!

Here are the film nominees:

BEST PICTURE

“The Big Sick”
“Call Me by Your Name”
“Darkest Hour”
“Dunkirk”
“The Florida Project”
“Get Out”
“Lady Bird”
“The Post”
“The Shape of Water”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

BEST ACTOR

Timothée Chalamet – “Call Me by Your Name”
James Franco – “The Disaster Artist”
Jake Gyllenhaal – “Stronger”
Tom Hanks – “The Post”
Daniel Kaluuya – “Get Out”
Daniel Day-Lewis – “Phantom Thread”
Gary Oldman – “Darkest Hour”

BEST ACTRESS

Jessica Chastain – “Molly’s Game”
Sally Hawkins – “The Shape of Water”
Frances McDormand – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Margot Robbie – “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan – “Lady Bird”
Meryl Streep – “The Post”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Willem Dafoe – “The Florida Project”
Armie Hammer – “Call Me By Your Name”
Richard Jenkins – “The Shape of Water”
Sam Rockwell – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Patrick Stewart – “Logan
Michael Stuhlbarg – “Call Me by Your Name”

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Mary J. Blige – “Mudbound
Hong Chau – “Downsizing”
Tiffany Haddish – “Girls Trip”
Holly Hunter – “The Big Sick”
Allison Janney – “I, Tonya”
Laurie Metcalf – “Lady Bird”
Octavia Spencer – “The Shape of Water”

BEST YOUNG ACTOR/ACTRESS

Mckenna Grace – “Gifted”
Dafne Keen – “Logan”
Brooklynn Prince – “The Florida Project”
Millicent Simmonds – “Wonderstruck”
Jacob Tremblay – “Wonder”

BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE

“Dunkirk”
“Lady Bird”
“Mudbound”
“The Post”
“Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”

BEST DIRECTOR

Guillermo del Toro – “The Shape of Water”
Greta Gerwig – “Lady Bird”
Martin McDonagh – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Christopher Nolan – “Dunkirk”
Luca Guadagnino – “Call Me By Your Name”
Jordan Peele – “Get Out”
Steven Spielberg – “The Post”

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

Guillermo del Toro and Vanessa Taylor – “The Shape of Water”
Greta Gerwig – “Lady Bird”
Emily V. Gordon and Kumail Nanjiani – “The Big Sick”
Liz Hannah and Josh Singer – “The Post”
Martin McDonagh – “Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri”
Jordan Peele – “Get Out”

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

James Ivory – “Call Me by Your Name”
Scott Neustadter and Michael H. Weber – “The Disaster Artist”
Dee Rees and Virgil Williams – “Mudbound
Aaron Sorkin – “Molly’s Game”
Jack Thorne, Steve Conrad, Stephen Chbosky – “Wonder”

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Roger Deakins – “Blade Runner 2049”
Hoyte van Hoytema – “Dunkirk”
Dan Laustsen – “The Shape of Water”
Rachel Morrison – “Mudbound
Sayombhu Mukdeeprom – “Call Me By Your Name”

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN

Paul Denham Austerberry, Shane Vieau, Jeff Melvin – “The Shape of Water”
Jim Clay, Rebecca Alleway – “Murder on the Orient Express”
Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis – “Dunkirk”
Dennis Gassner, Alessandra Querzola – “Blade Runner 2049
Sarah Greenwood, Katie Spencer – “Beauty and the Beast
Mark Tildesley, Véronique Melery – “Phantom Thread”

BEST EDITING

Michael Kahn, Sarah Broshar – “The Post”
Paul Machliss, Jonathan Amos – “Baby Driver
Lee Smith – “Dunkirk”
Joe Walker – “Blade Runner 2049”
Sidney Wolinsky – “The Shape of Water”

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

Renée April – “Blade Runner 2049
Mark Bridges – “Phantom Thread”
Jacqueline Durran – “Beauty and the Beast
Lindy Hemming – “Wonder Woman
Luis Sequeira – “The Shape of Water”

BEST HAIR AND MAKEUP

Beauty and the Beast
“Darkest Hour”
“I, Tonya”
“The Shape of Water”
“Wonder”

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

Blade Runner 2049
“Dunkirk”
“The Shape of Water”
“Thor: Ragnarok”
War for the Planet of the Apes
Wonder Woman

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

“The Breadwinner”
“Coco”
“Despicable Me 3”
“The LEGO Batman Movie”
“Loving Vincent”

BEST ACTION MOVIE

Baby Driver”
Logan”
“Thor: Ragnarok”
War for the Planet of the Apes”
“Wonder Woman”

BEST COMEDY

“The Big Sick”
“The Disaster Artist”
“Girls Trip”
“I, Tonya”
“Lady Bird”

BEST ACTOR IN A COMEDY

Steve Carell – “Battle of the Sexes”
James Franco – “The Disaster Artist”
Chris Hemsworth – “Thor: Ragnarok”
Kumail Nanjiani – “The Big Sick”
Adam Sandler – “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)”

BEST ACTRESS IN A COMEDY

Tiffany Haddish – “Girls Trip”
Zoe Kazan – “The Big Sick”
Margot Robbie – “I, Tonya”
Saoirse Ronan – “Lady Bird”
Emma Stone – “Battle of the Sexes”

BEST SCI-FI OR HORROR MOVIE

Blade Runner 2049
“Get Out”
It
“The Shape of Water”

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

“BPM (Beats Per Minute)”
“A Fantastic Woman”
“First They Killed My Father”
“In the Fade”
“The Square”
“Thelma”

BEST SONG

“Evermore” – “Beauty and the Beast
“Mystery of Love” – “Call Me By Your Name”
“Remember Me” – “Coco”
“Stand Up for Something” – “Marshall”
“This Is Me” – “The Greatest Showman”

BEST SCORE

Alexandre Desplat – “The Shape of Water”
Jonny Greenwood – “Phantom Thread”
Dario Marianelli – “Darkest Hour”
Benjamin Wallfisch and Hans Zimmer – “Blade Runner 2049”
John Williams – “The Post”
Hans Zimmer – “Dunkirk”

Film Review: Inherent Vice (dir by Paul Thomas Anderson)


Inherent-Vice-poster

One of the best things about Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film, Inherent Vice, is that Doc Sportello, the private detective played by Joaquin Phoenix, is a real stoner.  He’s not one of those weekend smokers, who gets high on Saturday, brags about it on Sunday, and then spends the rest of the week interning at Vox.  For the entire 2 hour and 20 minute running time of Inherent Vice, Doc is stoned.  From the minute we first meet him to the end of the film, there is never one moment where Doc is not stoned.  Most stoner comedies feature a scene where the main character shocks everyone by turning down a hit because he’s dealing with something so important that he has to “keep his mind straight.”

Not so with Doc!

And, in Doc’s case, it definitely helps him out.  Inherent Vice tells a story that is so full of paranoia, conspiracy, and random connections that only a true stoner could follow it.  Much like Doc, the film often seems to be moving in a haze but occasionally, out of nowhere, it will come up with a scene or a line of dialogue or a detail that is so sharp and precise that it will force you to reconsider everything that you had previously assumed.

To be honest, if you are one of the people who watched Inherent Vice this weekend and could actually follow the film’s plot, then you’ve got a leg up on me.  (That said, I’ve still got pretty good legs so it all evens out.)  But, that’s not necessarily a complaint.  As befits a film based on a novel by Thomas Pynchon and directed by one of the most idiosyncratic filmmakers around, the twists and turns of Inherent Vice are deliberately meant to be obscure and confusing.  Characters appear and then vanish.  Clues are discovered and then forgotten.  Connections are hinted at but then never confirmed.  Inherent Vice ultimately serves a tribute to stoner’s paranoia and, as a result, the plot’s incoherence leads to a certain contact high.

The film takes place in California in the 1970s.  Doc is both a hippie and a private detective. His current girlfriend (Reese Witherspoon) works for the district attorney’s office and doesn’t seem to like him much.  His ex-girlfriend, Shasta (Katherine Waterston), reenters his life and asks him to help protect her new boyfriend, real estate developer Mickey Wolfman (Eric Roberts).  Mickey has disappeared.  Shasta disappears.  As Doc investigates, he wanders through a psychedelic Los Angeles and deals with an ever growing collection of eccentrics.

For instance, there’s Hope Harlingen (Jena Malone), a former heroin addict who now runs a group that aims to promote “responsible drug use” among children.  She believes that her husband, Coy (Owen Wilson), is dead but actually Coy is a government informant who keeps popping up in the strangest places.

There’s Rudy Blatnoyd (Martin Short), a decadent dentist who may or may not be responsible for all of the heroin entering California.

There’s Sauncho Smilax (Benicio Del Toro), Doc’s lawyer who specializes in maritime law.

There are Nazi bikers, new age doctors, a formerly blacklisted actor turned right-wing spokesman, a black revolutionary whose best friend was a member of the Aryan brotherhood, three FBI agents who keep picking their noses, the decadent rich, and, of course, the endlessly clean-cut and bullying officers of the LAPD.

And then there’s Detective “Big Foot” Bjornsen (Josh Brolin), a celebrity cop and occasional television extra who seems to admire Doc, except for when he’s trying to frame Doc for everything from murder to drug smuggling.  Bjornsen is probably the most interesting character in the entire film and Brolin plays the character perfectly.  His scenes with Phoenix crackle with a comedic energy that bring the film to life.

As for the movie itself, it’s not for everyone.  A lot of very smart people are going to dislike it, much as many of them did with The Master.  In some ways, Inherent Vice truly is an endurance test.  Speaking as someone who enjoyed the film, even I occasionally found myself saying, “Okay, does everyone have to have a silly name?”  Inherent Vice is a long, rambling, and occasionally frustrating film but, for me, it still worked because of the strong cast and Anderson’s attention to detail.

Unbroken is a film that seems to take place in an entirely different world from Inherent Vice but these two films do have one big thing in common.  Both of them have been victims of the expectation game.  Many of the same people who thought Unbroken would be a surefire Oscar nominee also assumed, sight unseen, that Inherent Vice would be right there with it.  Much as how Unbroken has suffered for merely being good as opposed to great, Inherent Vice is also suffering for failing to live up to the expectations that were thrust upon it.  Inherent Vice is not an awards movie.  Instead, it’s a fascinatingly idiosyncratic film that was made by a director who has never shown much concern with playing up to the audience.  While Unbroken is enough of a crowd pleaser to still have a shot at some Oscar glory, Inherent Vice is the type of film that will probably never get nominated.  (I do have some hope that Brolin will get a supporting actor nomination but, even there, it appears likely that Brolin’s spot will be given to The Judge‘s Robert Duvall.)

Well, no matter!  Flaws and all, Inherent Vice will be a film that people will still be debating and watching years from now.