The Master

The Master ★★★★★


Fourth viewing, up from 79. The first time I watched this, I was mesmerized, but wasn't exactly sure how I felt about it. The second time I watched it, I knew I liked it, but I also thought it had so much more to offer. The third time I watched it, I loved it, and knew it wouldn't be long before I'd be coming back a fourth time. With this most recent revisit, during the first processing scene between Freddie and Lancaster, I thought I might have been watching a masterpiece. By the end of the movie as a single tear is rolling down Freddie's face, I was certain. THE MASTER has gotten significantly better with every single revisit, and I can't recall a movie that's ever grown on me nor captivated me in such a short span of time (aside from possibly MULHOLLAND DRIVE). Paul Thomas Anderson uses the cinematic medium to its full effect, telling a story in such a way that could only be fit for film. There's nary a misstep to be found, with the cinematography, score, screenplay, and acting coming dangerously close to absolute perfection; Greenwood's rendition of "Overtones" as Freddie sees Dodd for the final time has now almost inexplicably brought me to tears twice. An astonishingly layered and magnificently polished character study; an actor's showcase with two of the best performances of the 21st century; a frame-by-frame rumination of that paths we choose in our life; an absolutely beautiful film, in every possible sense of the word.

"I am a writer, a doctor, a nuclear physicist and a theoretical philosopher. But above all, I am a man, a hopelessly inquisitive man, just like you."

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