Paul Thomas Anderson’s proclivity for epic storytelling amidst thought-provoking social and political commentary is but one of his many strengths. It seems that the reclusive director takes the lessons he has learned from every previous project and rolls them into whatever magnum opus he’s currently working on.
His newest film, The Master, is only a few weeks away from release, and by now P.T. Anderson fans know what to expect. But since it’s always nice to revel in a little beautiful cinematography every now and again, The Weinstein Company has released one last trailer to make sure every film lover’s appetite is sufficiently whetted.
The trailer merely teases the film’s story - which follows an ex-sailor who finds refuge in the teachings of a single man – but more than that, it evokes a rhythmic quality like that of the Coen Brothers’ trailer for A Serious Man. Much like the Coens, Anderson likes to use similar themes across all of his films, while still crafting experiences that feel who wholly original amongst the many sequels, prequels, reboots, and remakes out there.
Anderson has backed away from claims that the film’s central teachings are meant to mirror Scientology. In fact, the film appears to be as much an expose on cultish behavior as it is an endorsement of it.
Joaquin Phoenix, who plays the sailor wrapped up in the teachings of “the master,” is already garnering a healthy share of critical buzz, including high praise from his own director – who likens Phoenix’s dedication to the role to that of Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood. Equally notable is the performance of Phillip Seymour Hoffman (a frequent P.T. Anderson ensemble cast member), who plays the film’s eponymous master, Lancaster Dodd. There’s a reason Anderson’s films attract so much attention, and that partly rests with the actors he envisions for such specific roles.
For those that are lucky enough, there will be a limited run of 70mm showings of The Master, something today’s audiences have likely never experienced. As we said, the showings are extremely rare, so anyone who find him/herself lucky enough to be near one are strongly urged to attend.