2012. USA. Paul Thomas Anderson. 137 min.
Thursday, November 8, 2012, 7:00 p.m.
Village East Cinema
2012. USA. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. Following on his quintessentially American, epic portraits of tortured narcissists in Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood, Anderson casts Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymor Hoffman to spellbinding effect in The Master. Freddie Quell (Phoenix), a hot-blooded, hotheaded, hard-drinking sailor, returns from the Pacific theater at the close of World War II in search of meaning and purpose, and he finds it in the philosophy and prophecies of Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman), the larger-than-life, Wellesian founder of a fledgling movement known as “The Cause.” Whatever the nature of their power dynamic—father figure and son, charismatic cult leader and worshipful follower, analyst and patient, filmmaker surrogate and actor, repressed lovers—Hoffman and Phoenix, together with a brilliant supporting cast led by Amy Adams and Laura Dern, imbue their characters with a nuance, ambiguity, and tension rarely experienced in contemporary cinema. Indeed, the virtuosity of achievement—from Anderson and cinematographer Mohai Malaimare, Jr.’s astonishing use of color, widescreen, and tracking movement to Jonny Greenwood’s hauntingly dissonant score—as well as the film’s defiantly enigmatic, improvisational structure, makes The Master the best 1970s American movie of the 21st century. 70 mm. presentation. Print Courtesy of The Weinstein Company. 137 min.