James’ Brand New Blog

Amy Adams is commanding in The Master @The Hyland

- October 30th, 2012

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NEW YORK, NY – SEPTEMBER 11: Actors Madisen Beaty, left, and Amy Adams attend The Master  New York Premiere at Ziegfeld Theatre on September 11, 2012 in New York City.  Dave Kotinsky/Getty Images/AFP

The best movies in London play the Hyland . . . & with The Master we can amend that to reach out to the weirdest or most likely to elicit nervous or unnerved laughter.

QMI colleague Jim Slotek provides the details of the two actors whose performances have commanded most of the attention . . .  JBNBlog was more taken by the crazy steel of Amy Adams as the master of “the master,” a truly cold fanatic who can manipulate (lit & fig as it turns out) her husband, cult leader Lancaster Dodd.

Madisen Beaty, seen alongside Adams in this red carpet shot, is also v. good as the dreamteenwoman the Joaquin Phoenix character left behind  . . . or thinks he left behind in Lynn, Massachusetts (hometown of which London Knight in the 1970s? if I have my decades right).

Anyway. The Hyland audience on Saturday occasionally laughed a bit as the tense nightmarish film (full female nudity, repressed & sometimes unrepressed sex drives, unpunished violence, churning seas in the wake of a ship of fools, moonshine,   fraud, beach sculptures, beautiful era sounds & 1950 period wear ). There seemed to be murmurs around us of customers who felt uneasy and unhappy . . . perhaps it would be better if we had roared with laughter at such outbursts as (language alert) “pig fuck” . . . an epithet ejaculated by The Master when he is confronted by some reasonable dissent.

More cleansing that way, JBNBlog thinks in retrospect.

Now, here is some of QMI colleague Jim Slotek’s four-out-of-five review of The Master.

n a way, we’ve been duped over what to expect from The Master, director P.T. Anderson’s deep, dark fable about a Second World War vet who joins a group very much like Scientology (legal disclaimer in the credits notwithstanding).

As much as the organization called The Cause resembles the Church founded by L. Ron Hubbard, as much as words like “processing” are substituted for “auditing,” and as much as Philip Seymour Hoffman’s grandiose group leader Lancaster Dodd may evoke Hubbard himself, this is not the focus of the story.

Caught in the crosshairs of Anderson’s lens is Joaquin Phoenix (remember him?) going crazy to an Oscar-worthy degree. We’re talking Christian Bale crazy times two.

The Master is the kind of movie that doesn’t spell out its message in chalk on a blackboard, so your interpretation may vary. But with Freddie Quell, a drunken, sex-obsessed, violently misanthropic ex-Navy man, Phoenix seems to have created the consummate non-conforming fish-out-of-water that so fascinated the likes of Kerouac and Burroughs in the very era this movie takes place.

 

Categories: Entertainment

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