The Master movie still
The Master movie poster

The Master (2012)


Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: Joaquin Phoenix, Price Carson, Mike Howard, Sarah Shoshana David

"If you leave me now, in the next life you will be my sworn enemy. And I will show you no mercy."

The Master, a drama by Paul Thomas Anderson, stars Joaquin Phoenix as a World War II veteran drifter who becomes fascinated with a charismatic intellectual in the '50s.

Freddie Quell (Phoenix) is a very confused ex-Marine who loses himself to alcohol while taking on all kinds of jobs after the end of the war. By chance, he ends up on the private boat of Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), an extremely charismatic intellectual who is leading his own religious movement, falls under the spell of his unorthodox ideas and gets absorbed into his family, quickly becoming the right hand of "the master". When the "organization" is threatened from the outside, the irascible Freddie tries to protect his leader with a heavy hand. Meanwhile, Dodd's young wife Peggy (Amy Adams) becomes more and more concerned that the traumatized Freddie can no longer be saved. And while the ideology of Dodd is becoming more imaginative, Freddie's inner criticism takes on the concepts of his master and a conflict of loyalty ensues, which he can only express by violence towards Dodd's opponents.

Partly inspired by the founder of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, by early drafts of Andreson's previous film There Will Be Blood, stories Magnolia actor Jason Robards had told him about his drinking days in the Navy during the war, and the life story of John Steinbeck, The Master deals with a timeless and universal theme that mainly shows how sensitive the balance between man as a herd animal and man as a loner is.

Plot summary from IMDb: Returning from Navy service in World War II, Freddie Quell drifts through a series of breakdowns. Finally he stumbles upon a cult which engages in exercises to clear emotions and he becomes deeply involved with them.

Awards: Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 93 wins & 128 nominations.
Runtime: 144 min



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