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At the movies: The Master

October 5, 2012

Freddie Quell (played by Joaquin Phoenix)  returns from the war a broken man.  After losing his job because of a violent outburst, he drifts aimlessly for a little while and finally finds himself involved with Lancaster Dodd (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman), the leader of The Cause , a cult-like organization.

My friend and I haven’t been to many movies lately because nothing has appealed to us.  When we saw The Master was getting rave reviews, we decided to give it a try, and we were both disappointed.  As a matter of fact, we thought about leaving the movie early but hoped that it would redeem itself but, for us, it never did.

The movie is loosely based on Scientology, but it just didn’t work for me.  I think my biggest problem with the movie was that I didn’t understand the motivation behind Dodd’s movement.  He didn’t come across as charismatic to me so I couldn’t understand why people were following him.  I really didn’t understand how Freddie became involved with him either.  Maybe the movie was just over my head!

Even though I didn’t enjoy The Master, I have to admit that much of the acting in it was superb, particularly by Phoenix and Hoffman.  I won’t be surprised if Phoenix receives an Oscar nomination for his role.  Even so, I would recommend waiting for the DVD of this one.

31 Comments leave one →
  1. October 5, 2012 6:38 am

    I would not be interested in this except for the fact that it does feature two great actors. But still, I think I’ll let Jim watch it by himself! :–)

  2. October 5, 2012 7:14 am

    My husband has been bugging me to see this one, but wasn’t sure what I would think?? HUMMMMM…still not sure…LOL

  3. October 5, 2012 7:18 am

    So glad for the warning. I’ll skip this one!

  4. Beth F permalink
    October 5, 2012 7:48 am

    I would have gone only for the actors — the topic doesn’t interest me. Thanks for the heads-up . . . we’ll wait for it to come on HBO.

  5. October 5, 2012 9:39 am

    That’s disappointing. Oh well. Thanks for the heads up – I’ll definitely be passing on this one. And, I know what you mean about there being a lack of good movies out there lately – I’m waiting for Perks to show up at a theater near me and that’s about it for now. Oh, and Cloud Atlas.

  6. Melissa S permalink
    October 5, 2012 10:06 am

    I’ve been interested in this movie because of Hoffman – I’ve loved all his stuff AALL the way back to Dusty in Twister!! He’s come a long way from that movie thank heavens!! This one might be a rental though.

  7. October 5, 2012 10:47 am

    I’ve seen the ads for this and it seemed to me like a hackneyed version of “Elmer Gantry.” Remember that one? Thankfully it didn’t appeal to me enough to actually go see it.

  8. October 5, 2012 11:00 am

    Thanks! for the recommendation of getting it on DVD.

  9. October 5, 2012 11:47 am

    I’ll take your advice and wait for the dvd. Like you, I was tempted to go see it in theaters because of all the great reviews, and for Joaquin Phoenix. Sorry to hear it doesn’t live up to the hype.

  10. October 5, 2012 12:47 pm

    Oh he is making movies again?

  11. October 5, 2012 2:45 pm

    This doesn’t sound like a movie I’d enjoy. Thanks for your honest review.

  12. bookingmama permalink
    October 5, 2012 2:49 pm

    Aren’t there any other movies out right now that would have been more appealing?

  13. Patty permalink
    October 5, 2012 3:04 pm

    I don’t think I could even begin to sit through this one…you are brave…very brave!

  14. October 5, 2012 4:15 pm

    Glad to read your review as my daughter and I are planning on a movie this weekend. We will pass on this one.

  15. October 5, 2012 4:16 pm

    Glad to read your review as my daughter and I are planning on a movie this weekend. Will be passing on this one!

  16. October 5, 2012 4:49 pm

    Phoenix has become an actor I have a love-hate relationship with in terms of movies. This one doesn’t sound like one for me.

  17. October 5, 2012 5:11 pm

    I love Joaquin Phoenix. Too bad the movie was a bust.

  18. October 5, 2012 5:29 pm

    That’s too bad this one was a letdown. I do like Joaquin Phoenix very much, he’s so intense.

  19. October 5, 2012 5:38 pm

    This one wouldn’t have caught my attention anyway, so it will definitely be one I’ll pass on. I rarely watch movies any more – not on purpose, but I have noticed that even on dvd I only watch a few new movies each year.

  20. October 5, 2012 6:09 pm

    Hmmm…this is the first I even heard of this movie. Guess I will wait for the dvd. Thanks for the review!

  21. sandynawrot permalink
    October 5, 2012 6:37 pm

    I was all over this one because it has gotten some really serious Oscar buzz. So that is disappointing. Guess I’ll wait (or most likely never see it).

  22. October 5, 2012 6:40 pm

    This is the second review I’ve seen of this one that has me thinking it’s probably not the movie for me.

  23. October 5, 2012 7:21 pm

    We were thinking of seeing it but at the last moment I didnt think it looked good — so I’m glad we didnt go — per your review. The trailer didnt look enticing. Thanks for letting me know, it doesnt look like we’d like it either!

  24. joyweesemoll permalink
    October 5, 2012 7:37 pm

    We like Hoffman, but I think I can wait to see this one. I heard a good interview with Amy Adams that made me curious about this movie.

  25. October 6, 2012 12:36 am

    I don’t think this is the kind of movie you watch for fun, but it did make me think a lot. The characters were definitely depicted in all of their unpleasant glory. Even so, parts of it really moved me.

  26. October 6, 2012 1:08 pm

    Too bad it didn’t work for you. I have a friend who really wants to see it but now I’m not going to be so quick to go with her!

  27. Dap1040 permalink
    October 7, 2012 6:13 am

    This movie was like a delicious chocolate cake filled with worms. The acting was the frosting; the plot, the entire story line was the filling.

  28. October 7, 2012 9:29 pm

    I love Phoenix but the whole premise doesn’t do anything for me. Sorry that you and your friend didn’t enjoy it!!

  29. zibilee permalink
    October 8, 2012 11:15 am

    I have never heard of this movie, but I’m not surprised that there were few juicy bits because the Scientologists tend to threaten anyone who portrays their way of life with a negative slant. I bet that had it really been faithful to Scientology, it would have been an excellent movie! Sorry this one was not for you!

  30. October 9, 2012 8:07 am

    I wanted to see this one until I read this! I love Phoenix!

  31. October 9, 2012 7:30 pm

    I love that you write movie reviews! I had just seen the trailer and wondered what it was about. Thanks.

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