Saturday, October 6, 2012

The Master

Elaine and I saw The Master (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson, 2012) yesterday and were both disappointed. The film’s cinematography (Mihai Malaimare Jr.) is beautiful. As Lancaster Dodd and Freddie Quell, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix give great performances. The former suggests to me Charles Foster Kane; the latter, Neal Cassady.

The Master is worth seeing for its imagery and acting. But on many points — that’s all I’ll say, no spoilers — the film is vague and inchoate. I’m all for mystery and opacity. But vagueness, not so much.

comments: 2

Geo-B said...

I agree thoroughly, great acting and great vistas. However, here you have a homemade messiah who maybe has gotten caught up in his own mythmaking, and an instinctive wild child led entirely by his id, but no real exploration as to how these came to these points, nor their strange attraction to one another. Now a failed movie is one thing, but a failed 2 1/2 hour movie is excruciating.

Daughter Number Three said...

Just saw it last night. (At the Grandview Theater in St. Paul, by the way!) The story didn't seem to me worth the wonderful production values and loving visualization of the time period.