Monday, May 27, 2024

“The Master” Sneak-Screens in Chicago, Wins Rave Reviews


Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” screened in Chicago on Thursday night for a large,paying audience. Tickets were $10 for a film charity, and The Weinstein Company says they had nothing do with it. It was just a ‘pop up’ screening. Anyway, even though no one’s supposed to review it yet, Indiewire’s “The Playlist” did and was rapturous about it in their review. Reviewer Charlie Schmidlin called it a “brave, sensual yet detached triumph”  for Anderson.

On Twitter, many who saw the film on Thursday gave it raves, even when they were still absorbing it. As I’ve said before, this is is going to be a “Tree of Life” style meditation on belief systems with just enough overtones for people to connect it to Scientology. From the Tweets and other internet observances, it sounds like both Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix will be in the awards races, as well as Amy Adams. Watch for Phoenix to go heavy into lead and Hoffman into supporting. (Hoffman, who I think is the best actor of his generation, was gypped this past June for a Tony in “Death of a Salesman.”)

“The Master” has been seen by several editors of monthly magazines who are working on pieces but so far very few entertainment journalists. The movie goes to the Venice Film Festival, then to Toronto, and then opens on September 14th. Watch for big Scientology backlash as the cult sends its minions onto the internet trying to cause trouble, But if the film’s as good as these early reviews suggest, nothing will work. It’s sure been a bad year for Scientology.

Here’s the latest trailer:


Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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