The Master is the first film from genius director Paul Thomas Anderson in five years, his last film being the stunning and quite brilliant There Will Be Blood. Prior to that film the director has given us such classics a Magnolia, Boogie Nights and Punch Drunk Love. The directors return is one of those ‘moments’ in cinema which gets everyone excited, it is like an event in itself, and so The Master is already one of the highest anticipated films of the year.
Arriving in UK cinemas on 9th November, the film stars Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Rami Malek, Laura Dern and Jesse Plemons. Anderson both wrote and directed the film which is influenced by the story of L. Ron Hubbard’s creation of Scientology.
After a special screening of The Shining in Santa Monica, fans were treated to the first secret screening of the film, which has had its release date in the US bumped forward a month to 14th September. Those who saw the film were quick to post their thoughts online, and the reaction has been extremely positive. Check out some of those reactions below via Cigarettes & Red Vines and The Playlist:
@TotallySketch (Michael Gallagher) “Just saw ‘The Master’. A movie has never made me feel quite like this one did. I can’t describe it or even rate it. I am speechless.”
@aaldere1 (Andrew P Alderete, “The Social Network” producer Dana Brunetti‘s assistant) “The Master was amazing. Oscars all over this one.”
@LoganDoe “@prfessorbigsock Hoffman is one of the finest actors alive.The Master is (more) proof. #themaster”
@pillowfightin “@cigsandredvines SawThe Master in 70mm at the Aero Santa Monica. Surprise screening after The Shining. Its like nothing yvever seen before.”
@jessecrall “The Master: B+ hazy, meandering story with beautiful staging and headed by Phoenix’s brilliant, year’s-best performance. @kristapley”
@Super_Matts “THE MASTER is…interesting…I’ll be thinking about it for days #THEMASTER70MM J Phoenix and P S Hoffman are out of this world”
@DubstepElitist “duuuuuude, the master was goooooooooood”
Victor Escobar said:
Don’t want to say more than a few words about it but it is an all around excellent film. I’ve yet to see one bad PSH performance but this one may be his best. 2hrs 10 min. Will get nods for Picture. Good chance of winning original screenplay and acting awards. If it were me, I’d put them both in the Best Actor category but if one them is getting the supporting nod, its Hoffman. It will have its fair share of detractors and its not a “safe” choice. If you guys can, see The Master in 70 mm. Looked gorgeous and its the way P.T Anderson wants you to see it. “
Finally Jeff Wells over at Hollywood Elsewhere said:
I’m still digesting everything I saw, but it was pretty amazing. It was like a strange fever dream. [But] not audience friendly AT ALL. An ambiguous ending and not one likable character. And without any ‘milkshake’ lines, it probably won’t have the breakthrough that There Will Be Blood had… There are three or four scenes between Phoenix and Hoffman that are barn burners. It also containts the best work Amy Adams has ever done… Phoenix WILL win Best Actor unless Daniel Day Lewis blows us away with [his] Lincoln performance. This isRaging Bull territory for him. Believe it or not, his performance is stranger than that fake doc he made. The only way I can describe him is ‘animalistic.’ (I think the Master title refers to more of a dog and his master. At least that was the vibe I got).. The style feels like Terrence Malick by way of There Will Be Blood.”
So yeah, pretty impressive stuff indeed!
A 1950s-set drama centered on the relationship between a charismatic intellectual known as “the Master” whose faith-based organization begins to catch on in America, and a young drifter who becomes his right-hand man.
By Matt Wavish