The Master

The Master ★★★★½

There was a special surprise screening of Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master on August 21st at the Castro theater in San Francisco, CA and I was able to get tickets.

To put it bluntly, this movie is amazing. I'm not sure if it tops There Will Be Blood, and nothing can reach the levels of acting greatness that Daniel Day Lewis reached in that movie, but Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman come pretty damn well close.

The whole film feels like a fever dream. Like an abstract commune with a shifty spirit animal, or-- more appropriately-- like drifting in and out of an intense auditing session with a charismatic cult leader while high on your very own homemade poisonous bleach & alcohol concoction. Who'da thunk it?

The film is often hard to really pin down where it's headed or why exactly the characters are behaving as they do (understandable when the leads are a mentally unstable alcoholic and an enigmatic cult leader), but as the film progresses the acting is so magnificent and the photography and score are so beautiful that you stop caring and just get taken away by the majesty of the experience.

This film will be a major Oscar contender without a doubt (unless of course Scientology tomfoolery scares Academy members away).