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Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master


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They've pulled the release date forward! From Variety -

The Weinstein Company is shuffling its awards-season deck, moving up Paul Thomas Anderson's Scientology-tinged religious drama "The Master" to Sept. 14 and pushing back Andrew Dominik's Brad Pitt starrer "Killing Them Softly" to Oct. 19.]

"The Master" will now open in limited release against Disney's animated family pic "Finding Nemo 3D," Screen Gems' action horror sequel "Resident Evil: Retribution," Summit's teen drama "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" and IFC Films' collegiate dramedy "Liberal Arts." Anderson's film will then expand to additional cities beginning Sept. 21, the day "Killing Them Softly" was originally skedded to open.

Dominik's pic, which has released a violent clip but not a trailer yet, will now open against Paramount's supernatural sequel "Paranormal Activity 4," Summit's crime thriller "Alex Cross," Paramount Vantage's David Chase-directed drama "Not Fade Away" and IFC Films' thriller "The Loneliest Planet." It's worth noting that James Gandolfini and Bella Heathcote star in both "Killing Them Softly" and "Not Fade Away."

"Softly" stars Brad Pitt as a professional enforcer who investigates a heist that went down during a mob-protected poker game. In addition to Gandolfini and Heathcote, the testosterone-heavy pic co-stars Ray Liotta, Richard Jenkins, Sam Shepard, Scoot McNairy, Ben Mendelsohn and Garret Dillahunt.

"The Master" figures to be a factor this awards season, with stars Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman expected to be major contenders for acting prizes, not to mention writer-director Anderson, who received multiple noms for his last pic, "There Will Be Blood."

The Weinstein Company also has Quentin Tarantino's "Django Unchained," David O. Russell's "The Silver Linings Playbook" and the French hit "The Intouchables," as well as other contenders.

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Sneak preview impressions - I've edited one slightly to remove spoilers - This article is from /film

Jeff Wells got an email from someone named “Bobfilm” who was at the screening, and he printed the most useful take on it so far:

I’m still digesting everything I saw, but it was pretty amazing. It was like a strange fever dream. [but] not audience friendly AT ALL. And without any ‘milkshake’ lines, it probably won’t have the breakthrough that There Will Be Blood had… There are three or four scenes between Phoenix and Hoffman that are barn burners. It also contains the best work Amy Adams has ever done… Phoenix WILL win Best Actor unless Daniel Day Lewis blows us away with [his] Lincoln performance. This is Raging Bull territory for him. Believe it or not, his performance is stranger than that fake doc he
made.

And The Playlist collected tweets from 16-year-old cinephile Victor Escobar:

“Don’t want to say more than a few words about it but it is an all around excellent film. I’ve yet to see one bad PSH performance but this one may be his best. 2hrs 10 min. Will get nods for Picture. Good chance of winning original screenplay and acting awards. If it were me, I’d put them both in the Best Actor category but if one them is getting the supporting nod, its Hoffman. It will have its fair share of detractors and its not a “safe” choice. If you guys can, see The Master in 70 mm. Looked gorgeous and its the way P.T Anderson wants you to see it. “

Here are some more tweet reactions, some of which are, sadly, also obsessed with predicting whether or not the film will win awards:

@TotallySketch “Just saw ‘The Master’. A movie has never made me feel quite like this one did. I can’t describe it or even rate it. I am speechless.”

@aaldere1 “The Master was amazing. Oscars all over this one.”

@LoganDoe “@prfessorbigsock Hoffman is one of the finest actors alive. The Master is (more) proof. #themaster”

@pillowfightin “@cigsandredvines Saw The Master in 70mm at the Aero Santa Monica. Surprise screening after The Shining. Its like nothing yvever seen before.”

@jessecrall“The Master: B+ hazy, meandering story with beautiful staging and headed by Phoenix’s brilliant, year’s-best performance. @kristapley”

@Super_Matts “THE MASTER is…interesting…I’ll be thinking about it for days #THEMASTER70MM J Phoenix and P S Hoffman are out of this world”

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  • 4 weeks later...

This is going to be indulgent, but mesmerisingly brilliant. Just what I need after 18 months of almost across-the-board lack of greatness at the cinema. This one's going to reach, I can feel it.

I honestly can't remember a film I was this hyped to see. Watching that trailer actually made me quiver with excitement.

Less than 3 weeks to go.

:omg: :omg: :omg:

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For some reason, I'm getting a bit of an 'O Lucky Man!' vibe from this, which makes me extremely happy.

Edit: I'm sure it'll be nothing like it really, but the kind of thing Joaquin Phoenix character does in the trailers reminds me of Mick Travis's surreal adventures.

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Some confusion over The Master at the Venice film awards. Apparently it was set to win the highest prize, The Golden Lion, but due to a new ruling that states no one film can win more than two awards, the jury had to take the award off the film and give it to something else. (If I read it right, the film had won an award for Anderson and another for the cast). The jury were asked to decide what they wanted to do, take an award off the director or the cast, or not give the film the top award.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Saw this last night, slow and very strange, with amazing performances from both Phoenix and Hoffman.

It pays a lot of respect to the audience in so far as nothing is spelled out or rammed down your throat - I think there's going to be a lot of discussion about the characters, their motivations, their relationships, and the over arching theme which I'm still puzzling over.

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  • 2 weeks later...
  • 5 weeks later...

I don't think people will be blown away by this like his previous films. It's clearly Grade A filmmaking - it looks beautiful with stunning camerawork at times - but narratively it felt a little flat to me.

Performance wise, both Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman are exceptional - Phoenix especially so. By far the best scenes in the film are when the two of them are together and the sparks fly.

It's an incredibly easy film to admire technically but I'm not in a huge hurry to rewatch it.

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  • 3 weeks later...

For some reason, I'm getting a bit of an 'O Lucky Man!' vibe from this, which makes me extremely happy.

Ha, I kinda see what you mean actually.

I was confident about this one so I avoided any pre-release hype and trailers and whatever but really I don't think any of that would've diminished it too much in the end. It's not really the sort of thing where spoilers or whatever really matter, in fact I'm not sure there's even anything to spoil, plot-wise, because nothing much really happens exactly. It's really great to see PTA pushing even further in the direction of subtlety since there's barely anyone else in Hollywood who even knows what the word means these days.

Fucking outstanding performances all round but particularly the two leads. Phoenix's face is just amazing throughout and that smugness that Hoffman can do so well is off the scale at times, especially in his public speaking.

Only downside was we unthinkingly arranged to go on a Wednesday with a Twilight film out so I ended up queuing for 45 minutes to get in a practically empty theatre :facepalm:

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I usually love Joaquin Phoenix, he's done so many films I adore, the trouble with this is he plays such an utterly wretched unlikable character who hogs or shares every single frame. I wasn't bored but I can't honestly say I liked or enjoyed it. Appreciated aspects of it, sure.

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