Two and a half minutes of The Master
A full length trailer is now available for The Master, scheduled to open in October - not long now - to begin what will surely be an award season run. Two teasers were previously released featuring Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Please click here and here if you missed them. Those seemed to be presented as mini character profiles for the two respective actors. This time the preview provides a broader look at what the story might be.
As you know The Master was inspired by L Ron Hubbard and Scientology, of particular interest in light of recent events. This being a Paul Thomas Anderson feature however it appears that we’ll be getting more than just a scandalised account of how a science fiction writer might rise to lead a cult prone to nefarious measures both to mute its opposition while subduing its following. Rather, at least as suggested in this trailer, Anderson explores why we might be drawn to those characters and to that kind of community. All of us, bitter by disappointment, betrayed by false opportunity, and ultimately always searching for a cure for loneliness are attracted to Home. The question is whether or not every vulnerable person who has been lured is another person we have all collectively failed. Joaquin Phoenix’s representation of that particular problem seems to be the centrepiece here. If this glimpse at his performance is any indication, it’s an awesome showcase of his talent.
Anderson also doesn’t seem to be taking an easy derivative route with Philip Seymour Hoffman. It’s much more complicated when their conviction is authentic and legitimate, non? We recognise the vicious authoritarians who rule from fear and greed. It’s the ones who are purely intended, as PTA suggests here, that we can’t conveniently explain away.