Silent J’s review published on Letterboxd:
Has a film ever been so unique, different, and flat out incredible that it leaves you speechless from beginning to end and even after the credits roll?
If not, The Master will be that film.
Even on a rewatch, I don't even know where to begin. I've seen this film twice now and I am still too awe-struck to muster a proper review. Every angle, every element, every single frame, everything about The Master is too breathtaking to put into words other than "Wow" and "Oh my God". If I had to give a proper review, I guess I'll start with the acting which alone makes this a 5 star film.
One of the most impressive casts I've ever witnessed. Every performance is just perfect. No one in this cast has ever given a better performance and looking at the caliber of acting they show here, I don't think they ever will. I especially say that keeping in mind Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman. Phoenix is just...my God. Saying that he puts everything in his performance and is phenomenal would be an understatement. It's a performance that truly must be seen to be believed. Philip Seymour Hoffman is my favorite actor of all time and out of all the phenomenal performances he's given, this has got to be his best. He brings so much class, intelligence and integrity to his performance that you understand how gets people to believe in his words. He seems so calm and collected that it makes the scenes where he blows up even more shocking. It's fascinating watching the two interact with each other despite being so different. Amy Adams gives a more subtle performance, but that doesn't make it any less impressive that the rest of the cast. She doesn't have any showy scenes like Phoenix or Hoffman, but she does so much with her performance with such little and it builds into an amazing performance from her.
Paul Thomas Anderson is my favorite director of all time and this is his best film yet. I really doubted he could surpass his work on There Will Be Blood but he shut me up quickly with this film. Every scene packs a punch whether it's a quiet scene or an explosive one. The scenes look gorgeous thanks to some amazing cinematography and some perfect shots. The writing and filmmaking go hand in hand here with very interesting themes with the story.
Some of you may disagree with me and think this is empty, but on a second watch I believe there is something there. I could be wrong, but even if there is no deep meaning, I just love watching the spectacle. The explosive moments. The jaw dropping moments as well as the quiet captivating ones that leave hairs standing on the back of my neck. If you ask me, PTA puts in everything that makes for a perfect cinematic experience and elevated it.
If he manages to surpass this film, it truly would be an amazing feat.