Written September 17, 2012
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 September 22, 2012
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.
Written September 26, 2012
I loved "The Master", but wholly recognize that this is not a film for everyone.Joaquin Phoenix gives a performance of a lifetime; I can honestly say I have never seen such an embodiment of character matched on film. The film abounds in strong performances, from Philip Seymour Hoffmann to Amy Adams to Laura Dern to all supporting cast. In this film, the cinematography and score are as integral to the performance as the actors.
What makes this not a "Must Go" for everyone? Freddie Quell (played by Phoenix) is a repellant character, matched in amorality by the other leading roles. The plot is often enigmatic, and the film---at two hours 15 minutes---feels even longer, even to one as entranced as myself.
Nonetheless, for those for whom artistry is a magnetic pull, this is a must film to see.
Written September 27, 2012
What a fabulous movie! Great cast with great acting. Really good story without a clear answer. It isn't often that ambiguity is a characteristic of films but it is in this one and that is all to the good. You are left to make up your mind about what is being presented but whether or not that means you've made up your mind about Scientology is something else altogether. Hooray.