The Master (2012)

Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson

Written By: Paul Thomas Anderson

Starring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams


If you wake up in a place you don’t recognize, get the shit out of there.


P.T. Anderson is the Michael Jackson of the film industry, save for the weird kid stuff. He manages to release hit after hit while increasing the complexity of his work. Maybe this time it’ll be his Oscar?

I always talk about acting since it is the center of the art. This movie is chock-full of talent popping off the screen and burrowing a hole into your brain. Philip Seymour Hoffman is gripping. He is such an amazing actor but it’s hard to put your finger on what it is that makes him amazing. He’s not a Daniel Day-Lewis whose face almost morphs with the character. PSH almost always looks the same (except for Capote and Flawless), he just sells his commitment to the role. Joaquin Phoenix has redeemed himself with an amazing physical performance from his hunch to the way his lips hang. This is his gift to his audience after that debacle, I’m Still Here. Finally, hats off to Amy Adams who can convey so much anger and frustration through a single facial expression – she lets you read her mind.

Sure there are moments that drag you down, but they just give you a chance to explore the subtext. The Cinematography is beautiful; Mr. Mihai Malaimare Jr. who is a relative newcomer handled PT’s film quite well in the absence of Robert Elswitt.

This film left me feeling like I need to watch it again, which is a great sign. The many layers of the movie are incredible – every move in the movie seems to tell you something (e.g., like the way a character picks up a hat) – there is no way to fully wrap the brainsicle around it. The end result is a movie that makes you think.

Go see this piece of genius and prepare to be taken back to a Post WWII landscape. Finally, great music courtesy of Johnny Greenwood, shpanks!

Problem: Difficult story to wrap up

Mood for watching: Cray cray

What to eat and drink: Spotted dick and an Old Fashion

If I made it: I would have added a few more scenes

Why watch: Because you enjoy all things good

10 thoughts on “The Master (2012)

  1. Crazy review. Like I said on my site, I did see it twice. It is a layered film, as a film about transcendentalism should be, but these performances indeed make it fun to watch as well.

  2. Ooh, I haven’t heard of this film (I don’t think it’s been released here just yet?) but I like Paul Thomas Anderson’s stuff. We studied There Will Be Blood last semester in cinema studies and I was blown away by the whole thing.

    Great post, but I thought I’d let you know that it’s Daniel Day-Lewis not Daniel Day Louis. He has some pretty intense fans out there so I thought I’d give you the heads up!

  3. I hope PT Anderson doesn’t win an Oscar. The academy awards usually serve as a signpost for which films to avoid rather than pointing to ones that are interesting and challenging. Though the year where There Will be Blood and No Country for Old Men were vying for best picture is an exception…

    I loved the performances too. I felt like Phil Hoffman was really channeling Orson Welles as the elderly Charles Foster Kane. Phoenix was awesome too, but every so often I felt his performance drew too much attention to itself and was a bit show-boaty. A bit reckless maybe.

    Cinematography=YES!!! I’m going to run out and watch Francis Ford Coppola’s last three movies after seeing The Master.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s