Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master stars Joaquin Phoenix as a psychologically damaged war veteran who finds himself working for Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a charismatic figure building his own religion. As the alcoholic, self-destructive former soldier becomes more deeply involved with the leader of this cult-like organization, his natural instincts keep him from embracing his new position as strongly as others in the group would hope. The Master screened at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Laura Dern, Jesse Plemons
Release Date: Sep 14, 2012
Rated R for Graphic Nudity, Sexual Content and Language
Runtime: 2 hr. 16 min.
The Master is an appropriate title for the new Paul Thomas Anderson. His place as the second coming of Stanley Kubrick fully realized with this visually powerful and intense film. Anderson directs his film with such a pronounced definitiveness that I’d be hard pressed to find a flaw. Anderson’s ability to get the most out of his actors is readily evident. Joaquin Phoenix gives a seminal performance which may prove to be a high point in his career. Phoenix utterly dissolves into the character from the start. It’s impossible to tear your eyes away from his ferocious mental disturbed man. Phillip Seymour Hoffman is equally impressive as the charismatic and subtly fiery cult leader. Their scenes together are some of the film’s best each showcasing their impressive talents all at once. Amy Adams is strong in a supporting role, showing off a steely intensity that makes her almost as frightening as the male leads. The actors and Anderson have created a classic film, which should be all over the place on the Oscars list, that requires your attention from the start, it offers very little in the way of clear answers. The Master is the type of film that requires repeat viewing which is a cinematic treat for any film fan.