Sun 4 February 2:00pm
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams
Deservedly collecting the top prizes at the 2012 Venice Festival, The Master is Anderson’s latest essay on complex, troubled individuals and their insidious power. It tells the story of Freddie Quell (Phoenix), a World War II veteran struggling to adjust to a post-war society who meets Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman), a leader of a religious movement known as “The Cause,” who sees something in Quell and accepts him into the movement.
Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard is the thinly disguised model for Dodd, whose The Cause employs brainwashing methods masquerading as soul-cleansing. Here the interplay between the hair-triggered Quell and his oily guru develops into an intense mutual dependency.
Phoenix and Seymour Hoffman have never been better, and nor has Amy Adams as the latest Mrs Dodds who senses the threat Quell poses to The Cause.