Lovely to look at, arresting to experience, The Master ticks a whole load of dramatic boxes but ultimately leaves you empty and feeling a little bit like you’ve missed something.
As I said to a friend recently [after seeing said film], I feel like I’m the guy at the back of the room asking ‘Hey, is that Emperor actually wearing any clothes?’
Don’t get me wrong, visually The Master excels and if the two leads, Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman, aren’t up for best and/or best supporting actor come Oscar time, then there’s clearly something wrong in the world – they’re both at career-best level and push each other brilliantly. It’s just such a damn shame that director, Paul Thomas Anderson (someone whose work I have admired for a long time) forgot to add any kind of story.
Like I said from at the outset, maybe I’m missing something. Maybe those new threads are really quite shiny and beautiful…
Or maybe you should just go see ARGO instead.
Tell me in the comments below –