Weinstein Company, The, Ghoulardi Film Company, Annapurna Pictures,
Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, Laura Dern, Ambyr Childers, Rami Malek, Jesse Plemons, Kevin J. O’Connor, Christopher Evan Welch, Madisen Beaty,
This is the story of a returning WWII Naval veteran Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) who is not adjusting well to civilian life. He’s suffering from Post Traumatic Stress Syndrome although they really didn’t understand it back in those days. He is floating from day to day, drinking heavily, not really getting by. He runs into a religious cult headed by “The Master” Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) and his wife Peggy (Amy Adams) and joins in with them. Dodd takes a special liking to him and he becomes one of the chosen followers, but all the pressure is a bit too much for Freddie to handle.
I really have a hard time placing a rating on this film For the most part, I didn’t really care for it a lot. But at the same time, I have to truly say it was masterfully done. Dodd’s character played by Hoffman is quite unlikeable, but it’s very well done. This reminds me of another of his films, the biography of Truman Capote “Capote” from 2006 which was another truly masterful award winning portrayal of a character I just didn’t like. Freddie on the other hand, is simple a jerk. He’s so unlikable, and is just an annoying loser. This also reminds me of Joaquin Phoenix’s film “I’m Still Here (2010) [Click here for Ed's review] which was also a decent portrayal of an unlikable guy. So basically the cult isn’t really evil, and we don’t like any of the people in the movie, so you find yourself wondering why you’re spending the time watching something you’re not really enjoying. But like watching ballet or opera, it’s cultural, so you feel like you have to sit there and smile and nod or you’ll look like an uncouth ass. This is the way I felt in this movie, so I’m rating it a down the middle three stars because I appreciate the craft and the wonderful acting, but just didn’t care a whit about the story. I hope this all makes sense. I’m sure there are some people out there who got this, and loved The Master, but I wasn’t one of those. It was a little too pompous for my taste.
EdG – EdsReview Dot Com – A Movie Review Blog
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