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The Master

When: Dec. 28-30 2012

Alongside the start of The Belcourt’s monthlong Hitchcock celebration comes a second screening of a film by a director for whom character development is also key. Paul Thomas Anderson made his rep with the sprawling ensemble pieces Boogie Nights and Magnolia, but his more recent films pay almost microscopic attention to their fixated protagonists. His latest picture, The Master, stars Joaquin Phoenix as a troubled WWII veteran struggling in vain to adjust to civilian life. The tide seems to turn when he develops a relationship of intense emotional power with the leader of a new religion, an L. Ron Hubbard-esque Svengali (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) who searches for exploitable weaknesses lurking beneath the conscious minds of his followers. Amy Adams plays Hoffman’s wife. The film features a score by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, who also teamed with Anderson on 2007’s There Will Be Blood.

Stephen Trageser

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