Martin Donovan

Paul Thomas Anderson takes on 'Inherent Vice'

Paul Thomas Anderson takes on 'Inherent Vice'

If only Paul Thomas Anderson could remember what drew him to the story of "Inherent Vice" in the first place. Or, more specifically, by making a movie of cultural confusion, spiritual uncertainty and overall disorientation set in 1970 — perhaps not coincidentally the year Anderson was born — is he looking to say something about right now?

"I'm still not sure of the answer to that even having done it," Anderson said recently, settling in on the backyard patio of the rental house where he has edited his last two films, with an expansive view of the Valley below bathed in a late afternoon glow.

"Inherent Vice" is a shaggy dog underdog story, the tale...