Peter Bradshaw on The Master

As I read Peter Bradshaw’s five-star review of the Master in yesterday’s Observer, I could not help but come to the conclusion that this is a film I can never see. And yet ‘utterly absorbing psychological drama[s] of marginal lives’ are normally right up my street. But check this out:

…a film-maker from whom special things are expected, and that’s what he has given us…
…meditation on… perhaps every kind of cult and guru… portray[ed] not as sinister exactly, but as the poignant symptom of loneliness and uneducated intelligence…
…an emotional history of charlatanism and gimcrack philosophy…
…set in a postwar America realised with superb flair and confidence, utterly without cliché…
…confused sense of pain, destiny and dread is summoned up by the orchestral score…
…a stunning lead performance from Joaquin Phoenix, a performance quite different from and in advance of anything he has given us before, an achievement that puts him on a par with the young Pacino or De Niro…

And so it continues. The Master is clearly the perfect movie, the film for which I have waited all my life. But if I see it now, what could possibly be left for me? Better to treasure Peter Bradshaw’s review and the knowledge that the truth really is out there and just 137 magical minutes away, than risk a devastating trip the Odeon and the discovery that The Master is yet another false prophet.

Leave a Reply