Most moviegoers who made their way to the Aero Theatre in Santa Monica on Friday night were just expecting to see a new, digitally re-mastered, version of Stanley Kubrick’s “The Shining”. Much like the Torrance family, those lucky people got more than what they paid for (unlike the Torrance family, in a good way).
Told that there would be a secret screening for those who wished to stay after “The Shining” screened, it’s doubtful that many thought it would be for Paul Thomas Anderson’s new film “The Master”. Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Amy Adams, with some possible comparisons to the founding of Scientology, this is a film that has had film fanatics eager for quite some time.
With its unveiling, Oscar season got an early kick-start about a month before anyone expected it to. Anderson’s film is an early favorite for Oscars, with strong hype for best picture, actor (Phoenix), supporting actor (Hoffman), supporting actress (Amy Adams), and director for Paul Anderson. It was showings at the Venice and Toronto film festivals, among many other potential Oscar hopefuls, that many expected to be their first chance to see the film.
“The Master” is centered on a relationship between a charismatic intellectual (Hoffman), whose faith-based organization starts to catch on in America, and a drifter (Phoenix) who helps to inspire him and becomes his right-hand man.
The word of mouth, and tweets, were strong immediately following the screening. An email to Jeff Wells of the Hollywood Reporter from a source named “Bobfilm” says:
“I’m still digesting everything I saw, but it was pretty amazing… Phoenix WILL win Best Actor unless Daniel Day Lewis blows us away with [his] Lincoln performance. This is ‘Raging Bull’ territory for him.”
Many sites, like Slashfilm and Rope of Silicon, have a number of other tweets from audience members of the screening and their reactions to what they saw. All are positive, if not glowing, but that is also to be expected after getting a treat like this. Regardless, “The Master” will be the film on everyone’s must see list at the festivals after last night.
Take a look at the trailer to see at the very least what will be a beautiful looking film, shot and doing its best to be screened only in 70mm, with especially mouth-wetting clips from Phoenix and Hoffman, or the slideshow accompanying this article with some snap-shots from the film.
For those of us everyday moviegoers who don’t have the access to go to Toronto, or Venice, or ones who chose a Dodger game over a Friday screening of one of Stanley Kubrick’s classics (no complaints on my choice, just saying), “The Master” will hit theatres on September 14 in a limited release, and will expand from there.