Our seven-film series of the films of acclaimed auteur writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson concludes with his mesmerizing 2012 drama The Master.
Revered by many as the best of Anderson’s extraordinary films, while easily ranking among his most polarizing, The Master’s three stars – Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams – all received Academy Award nominations for their career-highlighting turns in Anderson’s solidly engrossing and challenging film. Freddie Quell (Phoenix) is an angst-ridden alcoholic drifter struggling with personal demons, including his traumatic experiences as a WWII soldier. On a fateful night in 1950, Freddie boards a passing boat and meets Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman), the charismatic leader of a religious movement called the Cause. Freddie tries hard to adhere to Dodd’s odd teachings and forms a close bond with his mentor, even as other members of Dodd’s inner circle see him as a threat.
The Master – which Anderson has repeatedly claimed is his favorite film that he has made to date – premiered at the Venice Film Festival on September 1, where it won the FIPRESCI Award for Best Film. Beyond its Oscar nominations, The Master received over 200 international nominations and 75 awards, and in 2016 was voted the 24th greatest film of the 21st century by 177 critics from around the world.
Wednesday, June 27 – 12:30pm, 3:30pm, 7:30pm
Thursday, June 28 – 12:30pm, 3:30pm, 7:30pm
“★★★★★. The Master is another tale of warped power and fanatical delusions, and it sees Anderson on captivating form as a director who is able to surprise and impress with scene after scene.” – Dave Calhoun, Time Out
“Grade: A. It’s a feisty, contentious, deliberately misshapen film, designed to challenge and frustrate audiences looking for a clean resolution. Just because it’s over doesn’t mean it’s settled.” – Scott Tobias, AV Club
“A sustained immersion in a series of hypnotic moods and longueurs, an imposing picture that thrillingly and sometimes maddeningly refuses to conform to expectations.” – Justin Chang, Variety