The Master (2012)

The Master (2012)

The Master (2012)

Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson follows up his masterpiece There Will Be Blood with this 1950s-set drama, loosely based on the founding of Scientology. Lancaster Dodd  (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is the leader of cult religious movement 'The Cause', and Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) is a troubled, impulsive World War II veteran who Dodd takes under his wing. 

Freddie struggles to re-integrate into society after the war, seeking solace in substance abuse and exploding in violent outbursts as he battles his demons. When he stows away on the boat of the charismatic Lancaster, Quell is discovered and welcomed into the midst of The Cause. A bond between the two men forms, and Quell becomes an advocate of Dodd's teachings until pressure from authorities, tensions within the group, and Quell's volatile nature combine to test the pair's relationship.

Inspired in part by Scientology's early days, The Master also includes material once in early drafts of There Will Be Blood. Anderson's musical collaborator on There Will Be Blood, Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood, is back on scoring duties.

Winner of the Silver Lion for Best Direction and the Volpi Cup winner (Best Performance) for Phoenix and Seymour Hoffman, Venice Film Festival 2012.
2012Rating: R13, contains sex scenes & offensive language138 minsUSA
Drama
Director:
Paul Thomas Anderson ('There Will Be Blood', 'Punch-Drunk Love', 'Magnolia', 'Boogie Nights')
Writer:
Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast:
Joaquin PhoenixPhilip Seymour HoffmanAmy AdamsRami MalekLaura DernJesse Plemons

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The Master (2012) / Reviews

Variety

Variety

A sustained immersion in a series of hypnotic moods and longueurs, an imposing picture that thrillingly and sometimes maddeningly refuses to conform to expectations.

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Total Film

Total Film

With potent performers and poetic visuals, Anderson has made the boldest American picture of the year.

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The New York Times

The New York Times

This is a movie that defies understanding even as it compels reverent, astonished belief.

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The Guardian

The Guardian

It is a movie that may alienate and exasperate some, but its audacity, its formal daring and Joaquin Phoenix's performance, make it simply unmissable.

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Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

Fabulously well-acted and crafted, but when I reach for it, my hand closes on air.

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Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times

It's a film bristling with vivid moments and unbeatable acting, but its interest is not in tidy narrative satisfactions but rather the excesses and extremes of human behavior...

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Little White Lies

Little White Lies

[This] spiritual post-war love story will restore your faith in cinema.

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Hollywood Reporter

Hollywood Reporter

A bold, challenging, brilliantly acted drama that is a must for serious audiences.

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Empire Magazine

Empire Magazine

An often brilliant '50s-throwback character drama that never feels nostalgic, with terrific central performances and a luminous, unforgettable visual beauty.

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A.V. Club

A.V. Club

It's a feisty, contentious, deliberately misshapen film, designed to challenge and frustrate.

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