Home Celebrity As “The Master” Nears $10 Mil Box Office, A Real Life Parallel...

Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” is nearing $10 million in limited release, with just about everyone predicting acting awards for its three stars–Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams.

But no one could have predicted the real life parallel that’s just occurred in Hollywood, as Scientology raised and educated actor Johnny Lewis — on a hit cable show– this week murdered his landlady and fell to his death. Lewis killed Catherine Davis, 81, who ran a kind of home for screenwriters and actors in Hollywood not far from the massive amount of real estate owned by Scientology including their Celebrity Center.

Since the tragedy, Lewis has been revealed as something of a drug addicted either socio-or psychopath, with arrests, jail time, and a long list of inexplicable crazy-scary altercations. He’s something of a real life Freddie Quell, the nutcase played by Phoenix so deftly in “The Master.” Freddie is completely off his rocker, given to violent outbursts and uncontrollable fits. He’s also a raging alcoholic who mixes up his own concoctions to stay anesthetized.

Freddie, of course, becomes involved with Lancaster Dodd, the charismatic leader of a made up “religion” called The Cause. The Cause has been compared to Scientology, as Dodd is based at least a little on L. Ron Hubbard, the science fiction writer who invented Scientology.

Lewis’s father rose to the high ranks of Scientology, becoming an Operating Thetan 7– or someone trusted enough to be told about aliens and other Scientology mumbo jumbo. Lewis himself took Scientology courses and was featured as a “celebrity Scientologist” until this week. In “The Master,” Freddie becomes the most trusted associate of Dodd until he disappears after one of Dodd’s weirder experiments.

“The Master” is playing in 850 theaters for the time being, and will likely stay in limited release until awards season. The Weinstein Company is following a similar path to its past “literary” releases, which usually catch fire with nominations and then take off. Scientologists are flooding internet message boards claiming the movie is a dud, boring, or a failure–far from the truth, but funny to read.

2 replies to this post
  1. I am not a scientologist. The Master is a terrible movie with excellent acting — just like There Will Be Blood. It will not “take off”. An hour and a half into this flick I realized that there was no way that the pace could pick up enough to have a compelling ending. Sure enough, the last 15 minutes are clumsy and boring and the audience cackles start as soon as the credits role. Anderson has a nack for ending movies in awkward fashion. He should do himself a favor and actually watch the movie in a theater with a live audience of people who paid to see his drivel. Maybe he’ll realize how annoying it is to watch genious acting go to waste on a poorly planned out vehicle. Last time I give this guy the benefit of the doubt. Good storytelling requires pace and relevance — this movie has neither, no matter how many hollywood pseudo intellectuals insist otherwise.

  2. Interesting parallel. Neither Scientology or “The Cause” can do do much for a person with serious mental illness or addiction.

    All Scientology can do is shift a person out of a rut, sometimes, but then they find they are stuck in another rut, Scientology, because the organization is so controlling and demanding, of money mostly.

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