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The Master (2012)
Loved it the same way I love a good novel
I'm not a particular fan of Paul Thomas Anderson, but seeing the preview of Phoenix and Hoffman's (God rest his soul) performances in the trailer made me determined to get my hands on a copy. To be honest, this isn't the kind of film I will watch over and over again, but that's because it's not made solely for entertainment. It's also not for the average viewer; they will probably find it boring and confusing.
The two times I did watch The Master start-to-finish, I paid great attention, and afterwards, I discussed it at great length. I enjoyed pondering on the story's details the same way I enjoy finishing a book with literary merit. Several of the monologues, dialogue exchanges and actions of characters are fascinating because of their ambiguity. Are they completely random, or do they connect with another meaning in the story? Are either of the two main men likable or admirable in any way? These are the kinds of questions I found myself asking.
If you're turned off by the L Ron Hubbard-inspired character or Scientology simile in general, I can assure you that so much of the film focuses on mood and human interaction, I quickly forgot about that aspect.