Saw movie "The Master" today. Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman were terrific. So was Amy Adams. I love to watch excellent actors perform. The way they can evoke emotional change through the slightest nuance in their facial expression - the use of the hands and the way Joaquin hunched over when he walked - never out of character. And Amy Adams was cool and collected, subtly manipulating the "Master" (Hoffman) himself.
This film was about the Id vs.the Super-ego; the rational "perfect" vs.the irrational/volatile "animal" in man. Controlled vs. Controller. The two main characters complement each other but also are very much alike. An undercurrent of need and attachment between Phoenix and Hoffman is there from the beginning which is left at just that - an undercurrent.
There are some visually beautiful shots - the clarity of light is played up against darkness; sand vs. water, family man vs. ruler - cult leader, etc. I felt that this film definitely referred to Ron Hubbard and Scientology though as this reviewer said - not enough to be legally actionable. Its a film I have to see again and think about some more. I loved Boogie Nights and Magnolia - this one did not affect me as wildly as those films did.
Saw Woody Allen's film To Rome With Love which was a reflection/ meditation on FAME and the fickleness of celebrity, and those who are enamored of the "famous" in the gorgeous setting of Rome- still romantic and beautiful but always an awareness of its past glory and ruins. Entertaining but absolutely a slight film dealing with surface issues and one-liners."