My quest to see The Master has been a long and lonesome journey. I guess with a name like The Master, it is kind of hard to NOT have a quest.
But this came out to the theaters before I had a chance to go to all the new ones, it never went to the cheap theater, and it doesn’t come out until the week AFTER the Academy Awards. No, this picture wasn’t nominated for Best Picture, but it was nominated for 3 of the 4 Best Actor/Actress/Supporting categories, making it just as important. Gosh, why did it have to make me go to such unsavory methods to see the film?
At least Amour has a BP nomination, so I can see it through one of those movie theater marathons.
Oh shit, you are a charismatic looking man. I guess if you tell me to like the movie, I will.
Sex. Sex. Sex. Some people can’t get enough of it. Take young Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) for instance. He just got out of the navy, maybe a discharge. Loves the sex. Loves the drinking. Kind of a lost soul after the navy, no one loves him. Might have accidentally poisoned a guy too, whoops.
But then he finds a boat, wakes up on it not sure why he is there. Bunch of weirdos though, talkin’ ’bout The Cause. Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is the captain of this here boat, and he is willing to take Freddie on. Just might do some testing on him, some personal questions to get into his core. He probed really deep.
Freddie finds himself attracted to Lancaster’s charismatic ways and agrees to stay on board and help him spread his message. A cult? Maybe, yes, but what else does he have going on?
Lancaster thinks he can help Freddie, cure him of his addictions to sex and alcohol, while Freddie is just looking for a place to fit in. But can he change? Just who is The Master anyways?
Also feautring Amy Adams as Lancaster’s wife, Ambyr Childers as his daughter, and Jesse Plemons as his son.
“You know what would make this morning go better? Some sex and alcohol.”
Before I saw The Master, I was pretty dang certain that Christoph Waltz would win the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. He was amazing in Django Unchained, he was a main actor in that movie, and there is no way that Philip Seymour Hoffman would have done better.
Well… I am not as sure anymore. PSH was excellent in this movie (and again, arguably just as important as Joaquin Phoenix). The scenes for everyone were really well acted, I just think PSH stood above the rest. There are so many examples of fine acting in this movie, the most famous of which will be the first “questioning session” between the two. Not a Doctor Who reference, but the not blinking scene? Great. I mean, yes, I am annoyed that there was blinking anyways, took a bit of it away, but still a pretty great scene. I also loved his reaction to the individual who was calling him a cult leader. Fantastic.
The Master has layers upon layers of potential themes you can take away from them, so I will not spend the time to go over any of them. Really, the movie is what you make of it. I know I am going to see it again, at least once, to try and get an overall better grasp.
Just some minor nitpicky things would prevent me from giving it the big score.
3 out of 4.