September 22, 2012
Strange and Fascinating
Hardly what I expected, as the focus was not so much on "The Cause" (the Scientology-like movement headed by the charismatic P.Seymour Hoffmann as the L. Ron Hubbard like character), but on one erratic sometime follower, played by Joaquin Phoenix. One has to wonder, afterwards, what the point of it was--it was not critique or support of the movement or its leader--maybe something about how hard it is to make your own path (Phoenix being more successful)?
The movie was briliantly, obsessively shot, with lots of lengthy close-ups. I would say I got a little tired of looking at Phoenix's lopsided face and Hoffmann's sunburnt features. Amy Adams was welcome eye candy from that point of view.
I think there could be some Oscar nominations for the lead actors and Adams, the cinematography, and the screenplay, by director P.T. Anderson (intense dialiogue throughout). A top 10 movie that may not win many Oscars, though a serious effort, to be sure.
Rated "R", deservedly!
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