Critics have called "The Master" a triumph of style over substance. That is, the acting wins out over direction and writing.

The trio of principal actors: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams, were all nominated for Academy Awards. Director and writer Paul Thomas Anderson ("There Will Be Blood," "Magnolia"), however, was passed over by Oscar.

"You know going into a film by Paul Thomas Anderson that it's going to be his very own personal vision," Adams tells The Japan Times. "He chooses intriguing topics or characters and ... runs with them."