Was there any doubt that the best film of the year would come from the best director working today? Paul Thomas Anderson has created something very special with Inherent Vice – a film that oscillates between unique and familiar to form maddening momentum that skirts both the absurd and the beautiful. The ensemble cast is unmatched this year, but Inherent Vice shines brightest thanks to the always dependable Joaquin Phoenix and newcomer Katherine Waterston. Some thought that Thomas Pynchon’s work was unadaptable, but Paul Thomas Anderson absolutely nailed this interpretation and made it look effortless in the process. What Anderson has accomplished in seven films is astounding, and it is prudent to start talking about him in the same breath as some of the greats – that’s how great Inherent Vice truly is.