The Master USA 2012 – 144min.
Antisocial and mentally unstable, a war veteran befriends the charismatic head of a spiritual movement.
Sexually obsessed, miserable, hunchbacked, violent, antisocial and mentally unstable, Freddie Quell tries to make his way back into society after the end of WWII. As he drifts from one small job to another, he concocts an alcoholic beverage that leads him to a position as the assistant to Lancaster Dodd, a charismatic intellectual who loves a good cocktail and is the head of a medical, philosophical and political movement called The Cause. During meetings, Dodd tells the faithful he can heal severe illness with hypnotherapy sessions – which cover everything from the patients’ intra-uterine troubles to their past lives...
Alternately flamboyant and fascinating, this movie is also unnerving as it puts its audience to the test with negative characters, a slow pace, ambitious subject matter and a not always linear plotline. This thinly disguised portrait of the father of Scientology, Ron L. Hubbard, confirms the talents of director Paul Thomas Anderson, maker of the excellent Magnolia, Boogie Nights and There Will Be Blood. Philip Seymour Hoffman as the master and Joaquin Phoenix as the war veteran are brilliant.