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Watch the Smoky, Mysterious New Trailer for ‘Inherent Vice’

The first clip from Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film includes a stairway gunfight, a complicated kidnapping plot and Sam Cooke

This weekend, Inherent Vice, Paul Thomas Anderson’s adaptation of the 2009 Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name, will receive its world premiere at the New York Film Festival — and now, the film’s first trailer has finally been released.

Set in the early Seventies, the clip opens with voiceover narration that advises: “If it’s a quiet night out at the beach, and your ex-old lady suddenly out of nowhere shows up with a story about her current billionaire land developer boyfriend and his wife and her boyfriend and a plot to kidnap the billionaire and throw him in a loony bin, maybe you should just look the other way.”

From there it includes a montage of Joaquin Phoenix’s shaggy private detective “Doc” Sportello interrogating hippies, cops and a woman applying her make up, as well as Josh Brolin attempting (and failing) to speak Japanese and a gunfight in a stairwell. Sly and the family Stone’s “I Want to Take You Higher” and Sam Cooke’s “Wonderful World” play in the background.

In addition to Phoenix and Brolin, the film features Reese Witherspoon, Owen Wilson, Martin Short, Maya Rudolph and Benicio del Toro. The film’s score was composed by Radiohead‘s Jonny Greenwood, who also composed the scores for Anderson’s There Will Be Blood and The Master.

“Is Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia, There Will Be Blood, The Master) the best director of his generation?” Peter Travers asked in Rolling Stone‘s fall film preview. “I think so. So when PTA takes on the impossible task of filming Inherent Vice, Thomas Pynchon’s impossible phantasmagoria of a novel, attention must be paid.” The movie hits theaters on December 12th.

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