Director Paul Thomas Anderson, 42, of such acclaimed films as There Will Be Blood, Magnolia, and Cigarettes & Coffee, teased audiences a month ago with a cryptic teaser of his forthcoming drama, The Master, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams. Now, he has unveiled a more elaborate, but still mysterious, preview, which sees a WWII drifter presumably suffering from PTSD fall under the spell of a winning intellectual and founder of a religious cult of the 1950s.

In the first teaser, we were introduced to Freddie Sutton, a war veteran played by an emaciated Phoenix who is struggling to readjust to society after being discharged. In this second installment, we finally meet "The Master" or Lancaster Dodd (Hoffman) — the charismatic leader of the faith-based organization, The Cause, which is rumored to be based on Scientology. In this sneak peek, Sutton drunkenly stumbles onto a ship wherein he comes across the ever-captivating Dodd, who introduces himself as a “a writer, a doctor, a nuclear physicist, a theoretical philosopher, but above all, I am a man. Just like you.”

Sutton is subsequently converted to the new religion by Dodd and his wife Mary Sue (Adams), who seem to initially ease Freddie’s mental chimeras and provide an answer to his existential dilemma. But trouble arises as he and others question Dodd’s methods and credibility, and Sutton soon reverts back to a state of anxiety as his faith crumbles. “He's making all this up as he goes along — you don't see that?” Dodd's son poignantly tells Freddie of his father.

The Master is, faithful to its own master, dark, tense, and aesthetically majestic, promising another homerun for the young director, and perhaps a largely-anticipated comeback for the mercurial Phoenix.

The film opens on October 12 in U.S. theaters.

Watch the full trailer:

Watch the original teaser:


  • christopherclarke
    christopherclarke on

    Wow, this looks so good.

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