“Argo to win it all.” This has been the Oscar pundit thesis statement ever since Ben Affleck was left off the Best Director list and promptly blew over the Critics’ Choice and Golden Globe Awards in a whirlwind weekend of Oscar analysis. Every award Argo has gathered since that weekend last month has added to the confirmation bias. Affleck and his film established themselves as the storyline of the 2012 Academy Awards. more »
Joaquin Phoenix has a collection of awards nominations and wins that many actors would look upon with envy, but he is calling, "bullshit." The actor won applause at the Toronto International Film Festival for his role in Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master and he even picked up a Best Actor prize at the Venice Film Festival last month (shared with Philip Seymour Hoffman). But the actor said he thinks the whole process is the "stupidest thing in the whole world."
When the credits rolled on The Master, I found myself thinking two things: Joaquin Phoenix is going to be nominated for an Oscar, and damn, I could use a drink! Watching Phoenix as feral Freddie Quell make moonshine from torpedo fuel, paint thinner and what appeared to be darkroom chemicals garnished with a mangy citrus fruit reminded me how inspiring it is to see a good mixologist at work. And that spurred me to find one who could invent a proper high-alcohol homage to Paul Thomas Anderson's movie and Phoenix's character that would not require masterminding a heist on The U.S.S. Curtis Wilbur. more »
There's a scene in the Paul Thomas Anderson's enthralling new film The Master where Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) — founder and leader of a cult-like movement called The Cause — instructs his "guinea pig and protege," the aptly named Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) to face another man hurling taunts and insults at him without losing his hair-trigger temper.
I felt like I was being put through a similar test on Tuesday night when, after being invited to a hastily arranged 70-millimeter advance screening of The Master at the wonderful Ziegfeld Theater in Manhattan, I arrived at the will-call table to find a crowd that, had they been carrying torches, would have been at home in the angry villagers scene of Frankenstein. more »
If there is any disappointment or bitterness that The Master was set to receive the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival today, only for the top prize there to be "re-assigned" due to a rule limiting the number of awards one title can receive, then director Paul Thomas Anderson did not show it this afternoon at the Toronto International Film Festival where the film is having its North American premiere. Anderson along with actress Amy Adams and producer JoAnne Sellar spoke with reporters at the festival along with TIFF co-director Cameron Bailey.
Every frame of this simple but mesmerizing snippet of P.T. Anderson's The Master throbs with an unnatural hum - in this case, punctuated by the animalistic grunting of Joaquin Phoenix as he books it down a pier in the San Francisco Bay, a panting so odd and startling it jarred my cat out of his sleep, the strangest look on his face. Is there something in Phoenix's by all accounts bravura performance that vibrates on some feline, feral frequency?
Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master continues to intrigue with the latest teaser revealing a look at Philip Seymour Hoffman as the enigmatic figure Joaquin Phoenix encounters — a mustachioed character who, in a new teaser entitled "Hopelessly Inquisitive," describes himself as "a writer, a doctor, a nuclear physicist, a theoretical philosopher" and stands poised in startling contrast to the skulking Phoenix.
I hesitate to even post this video — part fever dream, part vaguely authorized marketing blip, yet utterly curiosity-stoking glimpse at what appears to be Paul Thomas Anderson's forthcoming The Master. Joaquin Phoenix, take it away.