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“The Master”

October 4, 2012

“The Master” which has a trio of tremendous actors, top billed Joaquin Phoenix, Amy Adams and Laura Dern was a powerful and truly good movie. The reason for this is that the cast includes a truly great actor, Phillip Seymour Hoffman. I have seen them “come and go” and while Mr.Hoffman still has a ways to go to be an all-time actor, his work including this role as “Lancaster Dodd,” the charismatic leader of a new “religion,” is fantastic.

The film was written and produced by Paul Thomas Anderson. Much has been made of this movie being about L.Ron Hubbard and Scientology. Surely that is a part but Anderson also based the story on the life of John Steinbeck. Additionally, and very interesting to me, is that Anderson recounted stories of “Navy Days” drinking told to him by the late, great actor, Jason Robards.

Hoffman’s performance as a charismatic man with the first name “Lancaster,” evoked memories of Burt Lancaster’s Academy Award performance as another charismatic “religion” promoter, in “Elmer Gantry.” The movie soundtrack was excellent. It includes “Changing Partners” which certainly was a big song in Patti Page’s career. Past memories, great music (Patti Page was in the cast of Elmer Gantry) an most of all great acting, especially by Hoffman, make “The Master” really worth seeing and yes, discussing.

Phillip Seymour Hoffman

Burt Lancaster

Patti Page

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