Does the overt happiness from the first two teaser trailers make you feel shame?
Do the films of Paul Thomas Anderson make you unduly excited?
Do you enjoy the performances of Joaquin Phoenix beyond all reasonable health?
Does Philip Seymour Hoffman make your pupils dilate?
Do you get occasional twitches of your muscles from the music of Jonny Greenwood?
Does the knowledge that this film was shot in 65mm make you impulsive to buy a ticket?
The first full-length trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” is here, and holy hell, is it ever an astonishing piece of work. And if there is any line of dialogue within that will firmly put to rest about whether or not this film is riffing on Scientology it’s this: “Good science by matter of definition allows for a difference of opinion, otherwise you merely have the will of one man, which is the basis of cult.” And if you need even more, the piece of dialogue that apparently got Tom Cruise all in a huff, about Lancaster Dodd (surrogate for L. Ron Hubbard) “making it all up” is here as well.
But the best part of all this? It goes so much further beyond being “about” Scientology. Boasting breathtaking camerawork by Mihai Malaimare Jr. (who has worked on Francis Ford Coppola‘s recent indie efforts and featured on our list of cinematographers to watch) and an overall tone that matches the uneasiness and uncertainty that faces Freddie Sutton, there are some bigger thematic elements at play here – one of the most prominent seeming to be trying to make the most of the opportunities America has to offer, and where your path takes you when you don’t. But most of all, this is looking like the Joaquin Phoenix show all the way. Save him a seat at the Dolby Theater, becuase he’s headed there; we can start the Oscar chatter around him right now. Enough talk. Watch below and mark October 12th on your calendar.