One for the grownups
- The Master review by Sortilege
Having lately sat through a series of thrillers and the occasional rom-com that were essentially made for children, or at least teens, it was good to encounter a film made with adults in mind.
Everything is unsettling about this film, from the semi-classical score to many of the camera angles that look up from the floor, placing the viewer in the position of a lowly acolyte in Philip Seymour Hoffman's cult. There's a ravishing shot of a lighted pleasure boat steaming under what might be the Golden Gate Bridge into the last of a sunset, but otherwise the camera work is fairly static.
The two leads are terrific. Phoenix holds himself like a gorilla that's learning to be a man, his arms stiff and his shoulders forward- (I bet they had a chiropractor on the set), and Hoffman morphs from genial father figure to snarling tyrant in nano seconds. Phoenix sometimes sounds like Brando, while Hoffman seems to be channelling Orson Welles, but there's nothing wrong with that. There are a couple of other nods to Citizen Kane, when the Hoffman character addresses his faithful, and later when Phoenix visits him in the English school he sets up.
I disliked There will be Blood intensely, finding it pretentious and shallow, but I loved Magnolia, so for me, this is a return to form for P.T.Anderson. Like most artists and fine craftspeople, he doesn't churn 'em out, so I'll have to wait patiently, but eagerly, for his next film
5 out of 5 members found this review helpful.
Different and brilliant
- The Master review by PT
OK this is not going to be everybody's cup of tea I appreciate. Having said that I thought it was phenomenal, so glad I seen it. The acting by the 3 leads, namely, Joaquin Phoenix, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams is truly exceptional. Phoenix has never been better, he actually looks like an insane alcoholic, really embodying the part. Hoffman is outstanding as the charismatic master, amiable one minute then overly aggressive the next. Adams is superb as the dutiful wife, totally committed to the cause. Loved the soundtrack and cinematography. In short I salute Paul Thomas Anderson as I think he has made a masterpiece here.
1 out of 1 members found this review helpful.
Frustrating near miss of a 'masterpiece'
- The Master review by BS
Oh god I wanted to love this film. It has my two favourite actors in it. It is a fascinating subject matter, and a fascinating premise. It is beautifully shot (the opening 30 minutes is some of the most subtly stylish cinematography you will ever see)... but... God it was tedious. Shame shame shame.
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful.