"The Master," October 15th (Weinstein Co.):
Widely touted as one of the most talented filmmakers of his generation, Paul Thomas Anderson has a knack for delving into the lives of tortured souls - a theme it looks like he'll be dissecting once again with his upcoming film "The Master."
Joaquin Phoenix stars as Freddie, a war veteran who becomes the right hand man of an up-and-coming scientologist along the lines of L. Ron Hubbard. Anderson regular Philip Seymour Hoffman co-stars as Lancaster Dodd, a brilliant faith leader who takes Freddie under his wing for the rise of his new organization.
Amy Adams is also in the cast as Dodd's wife, but the trailer focuses more on the relationship between Phoenix and Hoffman.
Though we're used to trailers telling us most of the story well before we head into theaters, "The Master" follows Anderson protocol and gives us little more than a tone and some basic themes. Much like "Punch-Drunk Love" and "There Will Be Blood," the first trailer for "The Master" often feels like we're in the head of a character on the verge of a mental breakdown.
After taking a much-publicized break from acting, Phoenix looks like the perfect fit for a psychologically damaged man looking for a second chance, which sounds like a formula that could very well lead to an Oscar nomination.
As charismatic Lancaster Dodd, Oscar-winner Hoffman also seems to have a role that could end up with some more accolades come awards season. "The Master" should be one of the most anticipated art house films of the fall.
The new trailer for "The Master" can be viewed at the movie's official site.
Box office outlook:
Paul Thomas Anderson's films don't have enough commercial appeal to become blockbusters, though we saw with "There Will Be Blood" that they can make money if they're handled right.
While "Punch-Drunk Love" and "Magnolia" saw very modest box office returns, "There Will Be Blood" ended up with the perfect amount of awards season buzz to help it connect with adult audiences, leading to a worldwide intake of $76 million.
After the project was financially rescued by Megan Ellison, "The Master" has built a steady buzz from Anderson fans and there should be a small but loyal audience that turns up in October and November.
If "The Master" can get some Oscar love, look for "The Master" to give Anderson his second straight commercial hit.
by RTT Staff Writer
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