Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master” got a proper premiere in New York at the Ziegfeld Theater last night. There were no Scientology protesters, but plenty of celebs. Harvey Weinstein kicked off his introductions with some good thoughts about 9-11 and waved a little pro-Obama flag at the same time. Then he brought out Amy Adams and Madisen Beaty, the only members of the cast who are in town. Director Anderson is in Austin, Texas showing the movie at one of his pop up screenings, apparently. Philip Seymour Hoffman is shooting the “Hunger Games” sequel. No one has any idea where Joaquin Phoenix is.
Anyway, the Z was filled with interesting people, from Edward Norton to Trudie Styler, daughter Mickey Sumner (who’s a hit in the new Noah Baumbach film “Frances Ha”) with Rosie Perez, Fisher Stevens, Adrien Brody, Bob and Lynn Balaban, and Lily Rabe, Grace Gummer and brother in law Ben Walker, actor Josh Hamilton all pouring into the theater to see Hoffman, Phoenix, and Adams in their tour de force. Also in the audience: newly minted Oscar recipient DA Pennebaker with filmmaker wife Chris Hegedus, and documentary pioneer Albert Maysles. Al said after seeing the film, “I don’t think anyone will be joining that cult.”
Let me tell you: every single seat in the Ziegfeld was taken. It was all to wall, which is unusual even for hit movies. Everyone wants to see “The Master.” It’s an epic, a classic, and some hard work at times. But when it opens Friday, expect high interest. For yours truly it was especially interesting to see it on a 70mm widescreen. This film is a work of art, stunning to experience and to look at. Oscars, here they come!