Watch: New Trailer for 'The Master' as the Scientology Aspect Continues to be Disputed

Madisen Beaty and Joaquin Phoenix in The Master
Madisen Beaty and Joaquin Phoenix in The Master
Photo: The Weinstein Co.

Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master is screening tomorrow (8/16) night at the Music Box Theatre in Chicago to Benefit The Film Foundation (buy tickets here) and it's such a hot ticket, folks are flying to the windy city just to get a peek. Tonight, however, a new trailer for the film presented as "She Wrote a Letter" has arrived, giving us our third look at the film, which will first play the Venice Film Festival followed by a screening in 70mm at the Toronto Film Festival before it begins hitting theaters on September 14.

Starring Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams, the film centers on a man (Hoffman) who returns after witnessing the horrors of WWII and tries to rediscover who he is in post-war America. He creates a belief system, something that catches on with other lost souls. Adams plays Hoffman's wife while Phoenix plays one of said "lost souls."

Along with the anticipation to see a new Anderson feature, there has also been a lot of talk about the film's subject matter and what many perceive to be a tie and/or condemnation of Scientology.

Speaking on the subject with Entertainment Weekly (via Cigs and Red Vines) Hoffman said, "It's not the L. Ron Hubbard story. [Scientology] was one of the bigger movements at the time, but there were a lot of movements at that time. There's nothing about how I'm behaving or talking that echoes [Hubbard]. I thought of a lot of other bigger-than-life personalities, charismatic people like Orson Welles. Joaquin's character is like a beaten dog, no matter where he goes, [he] gets into severe trouble. And somehow I'm able to deal with him."

Well, after a few folks see it tomorrow night I'm sure the discussion will continue, and perhaps we'll finally get the answer as to who is the lead in this thing, Phoenix or Hoffman. It seems to revolve around Phoenix, but Hoffman's character seems to be the heart of the piece. We'll see... for now, here's that trailer.

  • Sean

    This is the first trailer of the three that really begins to show what the title really means. I really can't wait for this any longer. There Will Be Blood is one of my top five movies of all-time, hoping this will be there too.

  • markymark

    I'm pretty sure that's not Amy Adams in the picture..

  • Criterion10


  • Soho driver

    Going to see it tomorrow night! So unbelievably excited! :D

  • MKing

    Cant wait for this movie

  • Dale

    Whether the movie is good or bad, it will be worth seeing for Philip Seymour Hoffman, one of the greatest actors currently working in movies. Even in a supporting role, as in "The Ides if March," he can blow you away.

  • beautifulm

    I'm seeing it tonight. Woohoo

  • The Jackal

    Hard Eight, Boogie Nights, Magnolia, Punch-Drunk Love, There Will be Blood - is Anderson capable of directing a bad film? I'm sure The Master will once again prove that P.T. Anderson is a "master" of cinema. Along with Lincoln, Django Unchained & The Hobbit, I simply cannot wait to see this film.

    Thems the facts

  • AS

    I don't know, this clip worries me. I hope it's not representative of the overall tone of the film.

    • Luke Mosseau

      In PTA I trust.

      • AS


  • SohoDriver

    It was an excellent film, very visceral with award worthy performances from both Phoenix and Hoffman. Phoenix is definitely the lead. I don't know if this is on the level of Boogie Nights or Magnolia, but it's a thoroughly accomplished piece that leaves you thinking about its strong messages. I think it's safe to argue that Paul Thomas Anderson is the best director to emerge from America, perhaps anywhere, in the past 20 years.

    • AS

      Since you've aperently seen the film, how would you describe the tone?

      • SohoDriver

        Most similar to There Will Be Blood, in terms of his other works. It's a strong character study, and the atmosphere of the post war period is authentically evoked. It bears similarity to TWWB, but is less cohesive in it's narrative structure, and I would say definitely demands repeat viewings. It has a rather haunting atmosphere in some ways, with many extremely visceral scenes. During the scenes when Phoenix's character gets out of hand, I was reminded of Sandlers outbursts in Punch Drunk Love. The use of heavy claustrophobic sound is emphasised in the fight scenes here. And the 70mm print was wonderfully sharp.

        • AS

          From what you've described, coupled with The Playlists review, The Master sounds like another groundbreaking masterpiece from the great P.T. Anderson. I can not wait until September!