11 March 2013-03-11

Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman in The Master

Out in the UK this week The Master (EV, cert 15, Blu-ray/DVD) Paul Thomas Anderson’s interesting rather than great follow-up to There Will Be Blood follows shell-shocked war veteran Joaquin Phoenix into the ranks of what looks like Scientology in its early days. Like his films Boogie Nights, Magnolia and There Will Be Blood, The Master deals with fakery and the narratives people live by, Philip Seymour Hoffman giving it lots of Orson Welles orotundity as the cult’s charismatic leader, while PTA lays on the period detail with a cultural anthropologist’s precision, demonstrating how you went about building a new religion from nothing in the mid 20th century – a cooky mix of patrician … Read more