Daily Trailer: Finally We’re Shown ‘The Master’ Himself
Anticipation couldn’t be higher for Paul Thomas Anderson‘s The Master with its release date of October 12th getting closer and closer. Now, at long last, we’ve been given a good look of Philip Seymour Hoffman‘s character Lancaster Dodd, purportedly based on Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard (along with our first glimpse of Amy Adams who plays his wife, Mary Sue Dodd).
It’s hard to deny that Hoffman bears more than a passing similarity to the controversial figure and this all supports the rumours and hearsay that The Master is directly about Hubbard’s dreaming up of Scientology and the religion’s troubles in the early days; oh and did you know his wife at the time was called Mary Sue Hubbard? The only question that remains is how scathing (or not) PTA will decide to be of this celebrity-supported faith.
In the trailer once more Freddie Quell (Phoenix) is being interrogated about his life as a drifter, his ‘skulking and sneaking’, this time by the master himself. It comes off as the early stages of auditing, a very controversial and well-known practice by Scientologists, described by themselves as “spiritual counseling which is the central practice of… Scientology”. Dodd wants to put Quell back on the ‘proper path’ and solve his ‘problems’.
What really amazes in this trailer is the cinematography; whereas There Will Be Blood was sparse and harsh, this looks to have a certain eery warmth to it along with a distinct post-war feel. Mihai Malaimare Jr. has taken some big steps since 2007′s Youth Without Youth (working with Francis Ford Coppola on Tetro and Twixt can’t have hurt) but to be trusted to follow up PTA’s long-term collaborator Robert Elswitt must be quite a vote of confidence.
The only main character we’re yet to see is Helen, played by Laura Dern and neither trailer, cut by PTA himself, gives any indication about the story or even structure of the film specifically. From the trailers we’ve seen so far it may be safe to assume that the film will focus more on Phoenix than Hoffman but it’s called The Master and not The Apprentice for a reason… and we can’t wait to find out why.