One encouraging thread in movies this year has been the return of filmmakers of a Nineties vintage. Wes Anderson, Whit Stillman and Todd Solondz have all returned, successfully, from their various sabbaticals.
Potentially topping them all, we now have sight of the imminent return of Paul Thomas Anderson, with his first film since 2007’s There Will Be Blood, called The Master.
The film is an alleged riff on Scientology, with Phillip Seymour Hoffman as Lancaster Dodd, who founds his own religion, called the Cause and Joaquin Phoenix – in better shape than when we last saw him, in I’m Still Here – as a drifter who falls into Dodd’s orbit. Those of us who enjoyed the unfolding relationship in There Will Be Blood between the demonic oil baron Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) and charismatic preacher Eli Sunday (Paul Dano), will surely relish seeing what Anderson does here with Hoffman and Phoenix’s characters. As usual, Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood provides the score.
Here’s the trailer, anyway. It looks terrific. The film looks like it might open in the UK towards the end of the year, in good time for the Oscar campaigns.
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