Written August 28, 2014
First of all, let me say I LOVE movies and all of their elements... the acting, the cinematography, the directing., the music, everything. But most of all the story. And that is what is missing here. Without it, you are not left with much. Yes, the acting is very good, although a little too nuanced and overblown for my tastes. The directing...well, it's hard to tell since there is no story. There was no investment in the characters. I didn't care what happened to any of them. Personally, this is one of those times I feel like I was sucked in by critics' opinions who need to feel they have discovered the next work of cinematic art. Unforgettable? The only thing that is unforgettable is the fact I wasted too much time and money on this experience. There was no audience reaction at the end of the movie. Unusual for a touted movie in limited release such as this. Stay home and take a nap for free.
Written September 26, 2012
This is not a movie for everyone. This movie is more of an intellectual film or a movie for those who love acting. The actors were excellent and the story was OK. This movie also has a strong psychological undertone and symbolism.
Written December 28, 2014
In a year full of hyper-edited, computer-saturated blockbusters coming off the Hollywood assembly line, seeing "The Master" is like getting a dose of much needed oxygen. With genre pictures continuing to try and stuff as much backstory and needless subplots as possible, "The Master" is remarkably simple. It's an actual film for people that like that kind of stuff. Shot on gorgeous 70 mm, with every texture and detail, marveously grafted onto the screen, it is a film that delivers feelings, not answers. For those looking for a scathing indictment of Scientology or even a blood and drug soaked orgy along the lines of P.T. Anderson's other films ala "Boogie Nights," might want to look elsewhere. Instead, if you want to see two of Hollywood's most gifted actors go head to head, in some of the most riotious, real, and bravura displays of acting you're bound to see in the cinema all year...you're in luck.
Written September 16, 2012
Although in the press and by critics "The Master" by auteur director Paul Anderson is porported to be based on L.Ron Hubbard and the advent of Dianetics and Scientology..."The Cause" is never shown to be a cult, a church or whatever Scientology porports to be. It's more like metaphysical psychology, with a heavy emphasis on past life regression. The film more or less focuses on Joaquin Phoenix's character Freddie Quell, a victim of post traumatic stress disorder from a stint in the navy during the Second World War. Is he crazy, is he a mystical prophet, who Lancaster Dodd "the Master" can employ as a guinea pig for his bizarre and avant garde therapies? The film is excellently put together, from performances, cinematography, acting (kudos going to the entire cast) and costumes, music and editing. problem lies in the narrative. The story really never draws you in and throughout the chracters action remain fuzzy and muddled. I recommend it to thoughtful and patient movie goers.
Written July 30, 2014
It was not a good movie. The first five minutes, was horrible. I thought it would get better, instead it got worse. It is a really messed up strange movie. It got to the point where I couldn't take it anymore and left. If they do nominate it for best picture, they are crazy, if it wins what a joke. You can see it yourself, but that is up to you. Waste of my money and mind.