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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I find Joaquin Phoenix an extremely difficult actor to watch, coming as he does from the Christian Bale school of self-awareness. Filtering him out and focusing on PSH's potentially iconic Lancaster Dodd didn't help me either - a secondary character in search of both a first and final act. I feel a rewatch might be on the cards. Great 70mm photography, but Greenwood's score is a mess.
Just proves how Joaquin Phoenix is one of the greatest actors alive: the way he embodies this tragic, emotionally unstable sailor, with his arch-back, hands on waist, baggy clothes and heavy expression is pure art. Hoffman is exceptional too and Adams is a scene stealer. This search for guidance in life is timeless, it improved drastically on a second watch, I'd first seen it some years ago and wasn't that impressed.
From an emotional standpoint this does nothing for me. The subject and its appendix themes didn't engage me, neither did the skull session circuitousness of the characters, nor Phoenix' "greatest performance put on film". It's not a matter of preferences, I'd say, but of logical reasoning: this is the best movie that ever came out of the United States.
Absolutely brilliant. There are so many great scenes powered by the remarkable performances from Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix. This film had a powerful effect on me and instantly became one of my all-time favorites. If you're lucky enough to have the 65mm version screening at a theater near you, go.
The Great American Film of our time, that's what it is. It reminded me of countless classics! 'The Navigator', 'Sherlock Jr', 'The Cameraman', the sea-sequences from 'Some Like It Hot', and also 'Once Upon a Time in America', 'The Thin Red Line', 'There Will Be Blood'...
After demystifying the american dream in all of his previous movies, PTA repeats the same trick with The Master, an honourable atempt at designing a dark post-war America, one where the atomic threat and a general feeling of emptiness are opposed to economic growth. But PTA fails again by not constructing any kind of conclusion and letting his movie become just another portrayal of an episode of America's history.
A long, dark and impeccably well realised meditation on the lust for power our attraction to those who exhibit it and the human desire to free ourselves from base instinct. It's a difficult watch that eludes a simple-wrap up or pigeonholing. Hoffman is at his best and Phoenix has clearly channeled just a little bit of Billy Bob Thornton's 'Sling Blade' presenting one of his most captivating roles to date. 4 stars
All texture and no substance is the problem that plague Paul thomas Anderson's newest endeavour. As beautiful as the image is, and as powerful and comfortable as the performances were, there is simply no message. Is this really a commentary on Scientology? Because in the end, there is absolutely nothing said about anything. It's essentially a gorgeous montage with no context.