Saturday, September 15, 2012

The Master: Review

Finally!  A film for the whole family to enjoy!!

If your family is made up of yuppie scum.
Do not see this with parents or children.

It was a masterfully made film.  Absolutely capable and fantastic and bold as hell in that it purposefully pushed the audience away.  In its exploration of madness and mental illness, it creates an experience of feeling this mental illness and being misunderstood.
There's plenty of things I still don't understand - even composition wise - I'm confused about all these out-of-focus shot choices - that don't fit in a poetic way -when clearly a $40mil movie can be spot on with focus when it wants to.  And why does the party boat look so bad when it moves like it's a rookie camera mistake, when in this 70mm glory, it can't be?  Is it a part of the mental illness experience of the film?
However I understood the character and situation.  There's so many scenes that were unfucking believable, which I can mention without being spoilers:
- the first interview scene btwn PS Hoffman and Phoenix - my jaw was dropping from how incredibly it was crafted - a rare reason to be in shock
- the jail scene - for its truth and raw realness, the characters at their true height, so physical and open
PHENOMENAL jaw droppingly phenomenal

The film is concerned with characters that we socially instinctually want distance from - that we don't really want to know.  The fucking insane, the cult.  Those that we want to look at in a cage like in a zoo and be distant from with a glass between us and not be forced to have to actually be inside and know and see and be intimate with.  We take the time to be with those who we might otherwise fear and be repulsed by.
It's fascinated with the body and uses nudity in a new way than I've seen in most films.  I'm surprised it's not NC17 and I think if this can get an R rating, how unfair to all those NC17 movies!
I also find Joaquin's body and physicality one of the best parts about his performance - he really uses his whole body at all times while acting.
The performances of the entire cast are extremely bold and incredible.  Amy Adams in the bathroom scene -  Yep.  Oscar time stuff.

This is a painful movie to watch.  It's not fun, it's difficult.  It's one of the most difficult movies I've seen, it makes you work for it, it doesn't let you in, you have to work to find your way in and that's what's so bold about it.  This will get oscar nominations, but it's really not for mom n dad unless mom n dad are hoity toity and my parents like the movies Beaches and Under the Tuscan Sun - I will not be recommending The Master to them.

Bonus -  I saw this at the Arclight Hollywood which is easily the nicest most amazing movie theatre I've ever been in (well aside from the Cannes one but that's not even a normal movie theatre) AND Quentin fucking Tarantino was watching the movie there too and yes I did enjoy looking the man in the eye even though it meant nothing to him.

so looking forward.

Goodnight y'all.


Yvonne Pelouze Ciccone said...

I read your blog on the movie, which I want to see. Because my friend and I both love the movies. I love the way Pheonix and Hoffman act and I saw the documentary on Pheonix giving up acting. I was. hoping he didn't because he is a great actor.

Dan O. said...

Good review Heather. Not as compelling or epic as Anderson's last flick, but still features plenty to gaze at, be entertained by, and get gripped onto right from the start. Amazing performances from the cast too, and I think it's time for Phoenix to get his Oscar statue.