There are many films coming out this year that talk to that most primal reptilian part of my brain with their big explosions and crazy action, leaving me a stupid grinning idiot. But when it comes to just pure, creepy good acting performances, my money is on Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master to deliver the goods.
We’ve already met Joaquin Phoenix’s crazy-eyed drifter, and now with this second teaser, we get to meet “the master” himself in the form of Phillip Seymour Hoffman’s charismatic “religious” leader, Lancaster Dodd.
I love the offbeat music and displaced dialogue of this trailer. It sets a tone very similar to the unnerving soundscape and editing Anderson used to such incredible effect in There Will Be Blood.
That film had Daniel Day-Lewis’ ridiculously impressive performance (in my opinion, the greatest performance by a lead actor in the last 20 years) to serve as a tentpole. And now we get double the talent in Hoffman and Phoenix, who both seem to be firing on all cylinders. It may be premature but just based on these trailers alone, I wouldn’t be surprised to find their names in the bag come 2013 Oscar time.
And while the verdict is still out on whether or not Anderson has based The Master on Scientology (last we heard Scientology high poombah, Tom Cruise, was given a private screening and had “some issues” with the film), one thing we can be certain of is that it all looks bloody intriguing.
Set in America in the years following World War II, a charismatic intellectual (Hoffman) launches a faith-based organization and taps a young drifter (Phoenix) as his right-hand man. But as the faith begins to gain a fervent following, the onetime vagabond finds himself questioning the belief system he has embraced, and his mentor.
Last Updated: June 20, 2012
June 20, 2012 at 11:36
Hoffman does strike a small resemblance to L.Ron Hubbard. This is going to be magical.