Paul Thomas Anderson is something of an enigma. His films explore dark themes and highlight the very worst of human behavior. From Boogie Nights to The Master, he places well known actors in his films which pushes the envelope a bit and they deliver performances that are certainly outside of their comfort zones. The new crime dramedy Inherent Vice continues Anderson’s trend of placing characters in precarious situations and squeezing awkward tension and off kilter humor out of many of the scenes. His latest offering isn’t exactly a classic and it tells a rather confusing film noir-esque story. Serious fans of Anderson and star Joaquin Phoenix should check this film out but even they might be detracted from the picture’s ridiculously complicated plot.
Well, it’s time of the year again: award season, a time where movie studios both big and small push out some of their strongest films and there is no doubt that we are in for some really special works of cinema. Hot off of his Oscar-winning tour de force Dallas Buyers Club, director Jean-Marc Vallee has teamed up with Oscar-winner herself Reese Witherspoon (Walk the Line) to bring the story of hiker/memoirist Cheryl Strayed to the big screen. Wild is equal parts adventure and equal parts gritty drama and the results are truly, truly great.