The Master

The Master ★★★★

Very tentative grade, given that I'm seeing it again tomorrow* and that I frankly can't even tell you what the basic overall thrust of the film is. Which is to say this is very dense, not with plot but with how it organizes its disparate shards into something concrete. Some have already cited this as a conceptual flaw, but I'm intrigued. And that's not because I'm some PTA fanboy -- to this day, having not seen it since 1999, I'm not a fan of Magnolia -- but because I was honestly never less than gripped, even as I could sense the movie getting away from me structurally in the second half. No major narrative movie has been this cinematically taut in ages. And Joaquin holy fucking shit. Philip Seymour Who? (Who is awesome, of course, you *pig* *FUCK*.) Saw it in 70mm, btw, and the first shot alone completely negates everything the pro-digital side said in Side by Side. Sorry, Soderbergh, but a single shot of waves proved you *wrong*.

* I ordered tickets for a second go before my first, as I'd been warned of the film's density -- completely accurate -- and I wanted to see it again before I write my review.