Saturday, September 22, 2012

The Master 2012

Just back from seeing this complicated mess, and I have to say I did not care for it. Actually I kind of hated it. I found it pretentious, overlong, and dull in many places but yes it does have touches of wonderful images and scenes. Paul Thomas Anderson knows how to make a movie, but I didn't find it all that compelling and it is a long film that tends to repeat itself over and over like a too spicy dinner at a Szechuan Restaurant that comes back to haunt you. The performances are good Joaquin Phoenix is disturbed, disturbing and scary and its hard to tell how much of his performance is acting, also Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Lancaster Dodd the master of the movie, the stand in for L. Ron Hubbard is also fine and so is Amy Adams. The film looks good and expensive and to its credit it did make me nervous, uncomfortable and anxious but I feel that way every time I get on the subway. The film does have its supporters including A.O. Scott who practically had an orgasm over it, and Kent Jones who in the most recent Film Comment offers a sensible defense of it, but I think it will also have many detractors and I don't see it being embraced, (in spite of the awards it won in Venice) at the Oscars. Its too nasty and scary and way too difficult to appeal to the middle brow voters who make up the Oscars.


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