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‘The Master’

by Giovanni Fazio

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Language: English

Paul Thomas Anderson’s followup to the acclaimed “There Will be Blood” is just as ambitious — and just as flawed. His affinity for America’s grifters and shysters continues, with Philip Seymour Hoffman playing a spiritual huckster (modeled on Scientology’s L. Ron Hubbard) and Joaquin Phoenix as an alcoholic veteran who becomes his disciple. Both are on top form here, but a number of flat-out WTF scenes and a vague ending make this far easier to recommend on DVD than on the big screen.