The Master

MASTERposterBBBBB

(out of 5)


Paul Thomas Anderson follows his superb There Will Be Blood with another look at the pulling of wills between two very different men.  survives the horrors of World War II and finds himself unable to readjust to civilian life, taking on an assortment of menial jobs and spending his free time drinking moonshine. After a random walk along a pier leads him onto the boat of a powerful, self-appointed prophet () with a religious following, Phoenix immediately latches onto this merry crew but spends much of the movie vacillating between devotions. On the one hand, he really does want to absorb Hoffman’s teachings about actively examining yourself towards perfection and the ability to connect with your billions year-old spiritual centre, but on the other his erratic, temperamental personality can’t stop him from acting up and getting into trouble with girls and the law. While the experience here is much thinner than the previous film, with a lead character who doesn’t learn much from his journey and a nemesis whom the director clearly has no admiration for, the execution makes for one of the most perfect films of the director’s career. Every shot is the work of a genius filmmaker with an amazing amount of control and substance, and every character gets deep under your skin. The men at the centre of it are the main focus, with Phoenix doing his most mesmerizing and harrowing work yet, while Hoffman’s one-note delivery and shallow charisma is exploited better than it ever has been before. The women are not to be overlooked, either, with  as Hoffman’s wife radiating the conflicts of a young Liv Ullmann in her few key scenes, while  brings a memorable level of gravitas to her underused moments. Perhaps the film won’t satisfy all viewers (particularly given that its obvious allegories to Scientology do not reveal much that isn’t already known), but films with no thematic subtlety should all be made this well.


, ,

USA, 2012

Directed by 

Screenplay by Paul Thomas Anderson

Cinematography by 

Produced by Paul Thomas Anderson, , ,

Music by

Production Design by ,

Costume Design by

Film Editing by ,

Film Festivals:  TIFF 2012, Venice 2012


Cast Tags: ,, , , ,, , ,, , , ,, ,,, , , , , , , ,, , ,, ,, , , , , , , ,, , , , , ,,, ,, ,, , , ,, , , , , ,, , , ,, , ,, , , , , , , ,, , , ,, ,


Academy Award Nominations
Best Actor in a Leading Role (Joaquin Phoenix as “Freddie Quell”)
Best Actor in a Supporting Role (Philip Seymour Hoffman as “Lancaster Dodd”)
Best Actress in a Supporting Role (Amy Adams as “Peggy Dodd”)

Golden Globe Award Nominations
Best Performance By An Actor in a Motion Picture-Drama (Joaquin Phoenix)
Best Performance by an Actress in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Amy Adams)
Best Performance by an Actor in a Supporting Role in a Motion Picture (Philip Seymour Hoffman)

New York Film Critics Award Nominations
Best Film
Best Actor (Joaquin Phoenix)
Best Director (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Best Cinematographer (Mihai Malaimare Jr.)

Los Angeles Film Critics Awards
Best Actor (Joaquin Phoenix)
Best Supporting Actress (Amy Adams)
Best Director (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Best Production Design (Jack Fisk, David Crank)

Nominations
Best Picture
Best Cinematographer (Mihai Malaimare, Jr.)
Best Music (Jonny Greenwood)

National Society of Film Critics Awards
Best Supporting Actress (Amy Adams)
Best Cinematography (Mihai Malaimaire Jr.)

Nominations
Best Picture
Best Actor (Joaquin Phoenix)
Best Supporting Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman)
Best Director (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Best Screenplay (Paul Thomas Anderson)

Venice Film Festival Awards
Silver Lion
Best Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix)

Screen Actors Guild Award Nomination
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role (Philip Seymour Hoffman)

Writers Guild Award Nomination
Best Original Screenplay

British Academy Award Nominations
Best Leading Actor (Joaquin Phoenix)
Best Supporting Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman)
Best Supporting Actress (Amy Adams)
Best Original Screenplay

Toronto Film Critics Award
Best Picture
Best Supporting Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman)
Best Director (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Best Screenplay

Nominations
Best Actor (Joaquin Phoenix)
Best Supporting Actress (Amy Adams)

Boston Film Critics Award
Best Cinematography

Nomination
Best Director (Paul Thomas Anderson)


MasterMaster

Advertisements