If there has been one consensus out of the advance screenings for Paul Thomas Anderson‘s “The Master” thus far, it’s that it’s not something you can prepare for. While the movie has thus far received mostly glowing notices (check out our own review here), the film has also been described as difficult to embrace and perhaps even a little cold. Certainly, it’s not something that mainstream audiences are going to flock to, but The Weinstein Company know this, and their gambit to build up the buzz in the weeks leading up to its bow at Venice and TIFF, before dropping it into limited release right after its festival screenings, is a calculated move to strike while the iron is hot.
And thus, a new trailer has arrived today for the movie and again, it’s one that’s both excitingly compelling and intriguingly strange. A monologue by Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), founder of the The Cause, soundtracks another look at the frantic, uneven life of Freddie Quell, played by Joaquin Phoenix, who becomes deeply involved in the organization. Many are already tipping the latter actor for an Oscar, and early predictions usually fall either way, but if this takes off with critics the way it has with fans who have caught the movie already, it’s a definite possibility. And certainly, it looks like he commands the hell out of this picture.
“The Master” opens on September 14th. Watch below. [The Film Stage]