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5,798 Ratings

The Master

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
United States, 2012


In the years after WWII, an American intellectual creates a religion. When he meets a troubled drifter, he invites the man to help him spread the new faith. As their congregation increases, the drifter begins to question the religion he once accepted and the mentor who gave his life direction.

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The Master Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

Awards & Festivals

Venice Film Festival

2012 | 2 wins including: Best Director

Academy Awards

2013 | 3 nominations including: Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role

Paul Thomas Anderson’s ambitious, powerful and ultimately elegiac masterpiece centres on the question of whether man is, in fact, an animal… It all ends cryptically – and hauntingly. A mysterious phone call, a wistful serenade, an unseen goodbye. Repeat viewings confirm that this singular creation of Dodd was indeed Hoffman’s apotheosis, which would be apt, and even funny, if it weren’t so, so sad.
August 23, 2016
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[My theory that Freddy is actually a dog] was seemingly confirmed by a scene in which Freddie, coming home to Dodd’s house after a spell in prison, hugs his “master” and is then wrestled to the ground. As the two roll around on the residence’s front lawn, playfully grappling with each other and laughing with abandon… it is difficult for the viewer to comprehend this scene as in any way realistic if it is not understood that Joaquin Phoenix is in fact playing the part of a pooch.
March 14, 2015
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It’s an immaculately photographed film, but on a decidedly more miniaturized pictorial scale than the grandiosity Anderson has been building and refining throughout his career… With its lengthy scrutiny of human faces, its flexible telephoto master shots, and its restrained, un-showy production design, The Master finds the appropriate visual matches for this fragile attention to acting.
March 25, 2014
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