Watching movies at home, I like to address the opportunity like going to the movie theater. When you go to the movies, you usually don’t go to see two or three at a time. You pick one to watch and to savor for a while, right? Well, we are overwhelmed with so much viewing opportunity that it is like living with a conveyor belt of entertainment flashing before your eyes.
Last night it was time to watch “The Master.”
I was attracted to the movie because:
- Joaquin Phoenix is a nutcase in the movie and in real life
- Philip Seymour Hoffman is a versatile actor and incredibly believable
“The Master” movie starts, moves, and ends with the writer Paul Thomas Anderson. He is a relatively young movie professional, although he began his career at age 12. One must inquire, how did he come up with this idea? What is the basis for the character and story?
Before doing any research, I told my wife this is like a story about L Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology. She said, “And Steinbeck.”
What do you mean? She replied, "The look and feel and the wandering and lost character that was 'Mr. Quell.'" Oh yes.
Well, the movie is not a history of Scientology. It is more an example of cults that appear often throughout history. It is also about “pop” psychology. It is an example of the “Master curror” being as wacky as the “patient.”
Paul Thomas Anderson is purely creative and unencumbered. It would be interesting to see him continue in this genera, doing some more research into the realm of psychiatry. I would love to see his treatment on Sigmund Freud, for instance.
I found a brilliant review that I could not hope to improve upon. Here is an excerpt and reference.
“The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson’s gorgeous, confounding, and sometimes irritating new movie, has been assumed to be about the history of Scientology almost since the project’s existence became public. Movie fans buzzed. Harvey Weinstein hired extra security for the premiere to protect the movie from protest. But anyone who went to the movie expecting a searing expose was disappointed. The Master, which follows Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix), a deeply alienated Navy veteran who finds his way into the guidance of a charismatic fraud (Philip Seymour Hoffman) in the wake of World War II has very little to say about Scientology. But it is a dense, powerful movie about worship, sacrament, and what we take from belief.”
When you are finished watching this movie you may have a number of various reactions:
- Get sick
- Start intense discussion
- Wax with Joaquin and Hoffman
- Wonder what is next from Paul Thomas Anderson if this film makes any money?
Theatrical release poster
Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
Produced by Paul Thomas Anderson
Written by Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring Joaquin Phoenix
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Music by Jonny Greenwood
Cinematography Mihai Mălaimare, Jr.
Editing by Leslie Jones
Studio Annapurna Pictures
Ghoulardi Film Company
Distributed by The Weinstein Company
September 1, 2012 (VFF)
September 14, 2012 (United States)
Running time 143 minutes
Country United States
Budget $32 million
Box office $25,694,106”