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Joaquin Phoenix Thought ‘The Master’ Was A Comedy; Plus A Few New Photos As The Film Hits Theaters

Joaquin Phoenix Thought 'The Master' Was A Comedy; Plus A Few New Photos As The Film Hits Theaters

“I’ve seen a rough version, with no score. I thought it was a comedy. I did! I laughed the entire time I was watching it,” Joaquin Phoenix recently told Time Magazine of Paul Thomas Andersons beautiful, but narratively challenging The Master.” “I was sitting with Paul and I said to him, ‘This is hilarious.’ I have this horrible sense of humor where I think discomfort is funny—partly because I experience discomfort a lot, and it’s a way of laughing at it and getting a release. ”

It’s an oblique picture, but it’s ambiguity is powerful (though maddening to some) and the acting is masterclass all the way (you can read two of our early positive reviews here). And if somehow you don’t know what this flm is about (if that’s possible), here’s a terse synopsis:

A striking portrait of drifters and seekers in post World War II America, Paul Thomas Anderson’s THE MASTER unfolds the journey of a Naval veteran (Joaquin Phoenix) who arrives home from war unsettled and uncertain of his future – until he is tantalized by The Cause and its charismatic leader (Philip Seymour Hoffman).

Co-starring Amy Adams, Laura Dern with a lot of striking memorable performances by newcomers like Jesse Plemons, Ambyr Childers, Rami Malek and perhaps our fave, Madisen Beaty, it’ll be interesting to see how civillians (non-critics and non-fanboys) react to the film. By the way you can see where the film is playing in 70MM here and for the less discerning you can also see the movie projected in regular 35MM here. “The Master” opens on five screens today in New York and L.A. The film begins to expand on September 21st. Below are a few photos, the last one being very similar to a shot featured here, but slightly different, fyi.

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JP is like the real version person from Silver Lining Playbook, but bad ass produces awesome stuff always.

Brian Birmingham

“The controversial new movie, “The Master,” is described as a forbidden look into the life of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology. Author Steve Hassan, of “Freedom of Mind,” spoke to the “CBS This Morning: Saturday” co-hosts about the movie and why it’s got Scientologists up in arms.”:;lst;1

The Freedom of Mind information page on the Church of Scientology can be found here!

Info on Steve’s new book, Freedom of Mind: Helping Loved Ones Leave Controlling People, Cults and Beliefs, can be found here:


This movie IS a comedy. A black comedy. This is Anderson's funniest film to date, and I mean that in the best possible way. And I'm not being facetious. Still very dramatic, but also hilarious.


Is this a limited release? I know it came out today but how come its not playing at any local theaters? I read something about a wider release on the 21st but I want to be positive. Anyone know what the deal is?


No, you didn't. Come on, Joaquin. You've made a stupendous comeback. Stop trying to be the mysterious cool guy who goes against the grain, maaaan.


Many parts of the film are comedic. The audience I saw it with in SF was in stitches.

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