in about 100 words or less
US 143m, Colour
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson; Cast: Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Laura Dern
Capturing the look and feel of the 1940s and 50s, The Master is a beautifully filmed drama about Freddie Quell, a deeply troubled WWII veteran who is befriended by Lancaster Dodd, the leader of a cult movement known as “The Cause”. Inspired by L. Ron Hubbard’s Church of Scientology, Dodd’s movement becomes a focus of Freddie’s life and perhaps his salvation. Despite his subjection to The Master’s torturous “processing” techniques, Freddie becomes devoted to both the movement and to Dodd, which further fuels his violent and antisocial behaviour in this exploration of their mutually destructive relationship (Klaus Ming March 2014).