The Master

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Just saw this.

I'd give anyone 50-50 odds that Joaquin Phoenix wins the Best Actor Oscar, right now, pre-nominations, without having seen most of the other potential contenders. Seriously.

Might try to bang out a review this week. Mixed feelings about the film as a whole, which I almost invariably feel towards Anderson's films. But like all of them it features some stunning performances.
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I guess this is as good as any place to post my thoughts, so I'll give it a go.



Let me first say that The Master is easily the best movie of 2012 so far, and I'll be very surprised if I find something better. Not that I was expecting anything less from PTA. The performances are fantastic - Joaquin Phoenix in particular delivers some of the best acting I've ever seen - and it's Anderson's most visually stunning film yet.

It's also PTA's vaguest and most opaque film yet. It avoids the dramatic intensity and grandeur of his previous films for a much more restrained approach, but what struck me as I left the theater was that I had no idea what the film was about. Not in terms of plot, but thematically. You could argue that The Master is merely an indictment of organized religion, or a subtle portrayal of a power struggle between two uniquely deranged individuals, but I don't buy that. After some discussion, I agreed that what the film is really saying is that following a group, belief, or person can never replace the fulfillment of true human love and communication.

I can't remember the last time I've been so challenged by a film. The question is, where do I rank this in PTA's filmography? I still haven't gotten a chance to see The Master for a second time, but when I do, hopefully I'll know- and I'm sure other secrets of this mysterious masterpiece will reveal themselves to me.
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I posted my thoughts already in the Movie Tab thread, but basically I had mixed feelings. Performances were excellent. Phoenix, of course, was stunning, but Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams were excellent as well.

The movie is very long and slowly paced, not a whole lot actually happens and it's not entertaining in the usual sense, but there's an almost tangible intensity to each scene. So it's riveting in that way. I too am not really certain what the movie is truly about and to figure that out will likely require a rewatch.



UK release pushed back to Nov 16th... I truly hate you people right now.



I have not had the time to see it but I hope it turns out fantastic.
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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
It's really his to lose at this point.
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28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
Just got back from it. Easily my least favourite PTA film.

Stunning performances from both Phoenix and Hoffman is what kept me in this film, which is an otherwise slow story that goes nowhere. Anderson is a master of his craft and it shows here, he knows exactly what to shoot, but for me the film left me not only bored, but empty. I can look back and his previous films and pick out at least a dozen scenes that stand out. While some scenes in The Master are intense, nothing comes to mind as memorable. It's one sequence of random "tests" to the next for our character.

I also couldn't get Popeye out of my head while watching Phoenix. Possible inspiration? Hahaha, maybe a stretch, but that is what was going through my mind, not what was happening on the screen. As I sit here, I think to myself, why does this scene exist? What does it add to the story/film/experience?

There is a line that the son says in this film..."He's making it up as he goes along". I think maybe Anderson took this to heart.




This doesn't get released in Belgium until January 2013. Permission to say: oh c0ck



You forgot long winded, boring and pointless.
Agree 100%.

This may not be the worst movie I've seen (though I still reckon it's close), but by far one of my least favorite movies I've ever seen. I give it a 1/10.

We have seen better from Phoenix, I was completely underwhelmed by Phillip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams had no reason to be an oscar nominee.

My biggest problem with the film is PTA himself, who as TUS stated, seems like he intended the movie to be long winded boring and pointless. Practically nothing substantial happened in this movie, no action, no character development. Just a man touching a wall and a window for 5 minutes, a F*** you rant for one minute, The Master getting jacked off in a bathroom, and other completely random and pointless things. This movie was awful.



Well, after bemoaning the late release, I somehow, idiotically, missed it in cinemas. So here's my thoughts after a long wait, from the Movie Tab:

Poetic, impenetrable, enveloping in its intense, deeply nuanced and mystical look at an unconventional, fascinating relationship. A film that you allow to wash over you; appreciate the marvelous cinematography and score, superb direction and two performances among the best of the decade, nay, the millennium so far: Joaquin Phoenix's enigmatic, violent, desperate Freddie Quell, played with a level of commitment in its animalistic rage you see very rarely; and Philip Seymour Hoffman's Lancaster Dodd, aka "The Master", an enigmatic, mysterious leader. The two have palpable but troubled chemistry, perfect for a relationship in which Quell becomes a hint of his former self at the feet of Dodd, resembling, at the apex of Dodd's dominance, a child or even a pet, such is the power of cult and charisma.

Where an emotional punch is lacking, I was instead affected by a tension and a suspense the source of which I couldn't quite explain. I know I have made my love for Paul Thomas Anderson abundantly clear, but this is another gargantuan effort from one of the most exciting auteurs currently in the business.




Just thought I'd add that I loved how PTA handled Amy Adams' character. He very smartly hints at but never truly reveals just how much she is in control of her husband, I don't think she's quite the brains behind the operation but there's subtle but significant signs that she is running the show, the masturbation scene being the most obvious example but also a sequence in which I took her to be dictating to Lancaster, who is typing. Almost as if she's the one writing the book, with Dodd as the delivery system.

She's a great character, handled superbly by PTA in his writing and direction and of course by Adams herself.



And just in response to those bemoaning the lack of plot and character development, if I may - I feel like those are stock criticisms for films of this type. The people in it are meant to be enigmatic and difficult to penetrate. It makes them mysterious and interesting and unpredictable. It's a meditation on a set of themes and ideas, not a story-driven film. Did 2001 have a meaty plot? Nope. Did we get to know those characters? I think most people agree that we didn't. Yet...



28 days...6 hours...42 minutes...12 seconds
And just in response to those bemoaning the lack of plot and character development, if I may - I feel like those are stock criticisms for films of this type. The people in it are meant to be enigmatic and difficult to penetrate. It makes them mysterious and interesting and unpredictable. It's a meditation on a set of themes and ideas, not a story-driven film. Did 2001 have a meaty plot? Nope. Did we get to know those characters? I think most people agree that we didn't. Yet...
...yet, I still hate 2001.

I agree with you on Adams character being in charge, just look at the last scene when Phoenix wants to come back. She wears the pants, but Hoffman is the face.

Yet I felt so detached from EVERYTHING. Like I said, the most interesting scenes are when it is just Hoffman and Phoenix, but that is not enough.



I finally got to see it and like some of you,I also have mixed thoughts about it.
I don't think anyone can argue with the acting and the craftsmanship(I think that's the best thing about this film) but the movie itself made me feel nothing.I also felt that I could turn it off anytime since I didn't care how it would end.
However,I think The Master might be a film which grows on you but for now,I didn't connect with characters and since it is a character-driven film,I was bored at times.



A movie filled with great performances, especially Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams but I feel like the story wander off at the end. Other than that, I really enjoy the amazing camera work, 70mm works wonders for this film.



Just because you two missed the point doesn't mean there isn't one.
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Just because you two missed the point doesn't mean there isn't one.
And yet it's so often the case

This usually means I'll like it, guess I'm just one of the pretentiously insightful bastards