Home Uncategorized Oscar Campaign for “The Master” Sends out Scientology Parody Magazine

I almost thought that there was no Oscar campaign for Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master.” But today arrived a parody of a Scientology mailing promoting the film, which should be a Best Picture nominee and have three actor nominations as well. The Weinstein Company sent out a folded magazine on newsprint called “The Cause Footpath.” The Cause, of course, is the cult religion started by Lancaster Dodd, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman in a performance as good as Daniel Day Lewis’s Lincoln or Denzel Washington’s addicted pilot.

The Footpath is a fictional publication from Dodd– “The Weekly Newspaper for the Enlightened.” It mimics the annoying periodicals published by Scientology or Jehovah’s Witnesses “The Watchtower.” Very clever. Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams are shown on the cover. I’ve reproduced it twice here.

Inside TWC includes mostly the sterling reviews for the movie. The backpage is a long quote from Dodd, from Anderson’s original screenplay. There’s also a very witty fake 1949 article about Dodd and his wife Peggy (Amy Adams, Best Supporting Actress nominee without a doubt).

“The Master,” one of my favorite movies of 2012, is eligible for Best Picture, Best Director (Best Actor (Phoenix and/or Hoffman), Supporting Actress (Adams), Original Screenplay (Anderson) plus cinematography, editing, set design, costumes, art design.

I’m very torn about putting Hoffman into Supporting Actor. He is as much the lead as Phoenix. Lancaster Dodd is one of the greatest character inventions in modern movie history. I do think PSH is an absolute genius, in the league of Daniel Day Lewis and maybe just a couple other actors of this generation. (Don Cheadle and Ralph Fiennes are close.)

If you’re voting with any groups this month, don’t forget “The Master.” And I do believe “The Cause Footpath” will become a collector’s item overnight!


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4 replies to this post
  1. The movie made me, ex lifer Scientologist, a little ill, for real to watch. I felt disoriented and had a headache for hours afterwards.

    It’s too close to the mind craziness crap that Scientology’s Hubbard runs on his members.

    In that sense, the movie succeeds.

    Great acting and beautiful to watch..

    Chuck Beatty
    ex Scientology lifetime staffer (1975-2003) 27 years

  2. If Academy members are willing to give out “A for Effort” merit badges to The Master’s cast for soldiering on with a turgid vehicle, Oscars should rain down into cast’s hands.

    But, as a film, it was neither educational nor entertaining. Check its IMDB box-office gross.

    In distribution since September, the Master’s <$16M gross hasn't yet hit one-half of its $32M budget. This week's numbers were pathetic. Weinstein's little magazine cost him more than he grossed this week.

    Compare those dollars to Lincoln's which, two months fewer in distribution, has already grossed 4X The Master's receipts, epitomizes not only good acting but a riveting and VASTLY more relevant story—and has already beaten its budget on paper.

    You decide which movie deserves the recognition.

    I'm betting on the tall skinny guy with the beard who first gave Black people their voice in America.

  3. Anderson mentioned in an interview that in researching Scientology for the film they would often refer to newsletters from that era known as The Compleat Aberree, all of which have been collected by a Scientology critic at Aberree(dot)com. I’ll bet those were the model for this as well.

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