The trailer for Paul Thomas Anderson’s newest epic, The Master, dropped at Cannes this past week, and it looks to be just as beautifully and bizarrely psychotic as his all of his other films (There Will Be Blood, Magnolia, Boogie Nights). The clip, which is only a fraction of what folks at Cannes got to see in person, focuses on Joaquin Phoenix, a kind of military drifter, undergoing some kind of evaluation. All gaunt and broken-faced, Phoenix actually looks a bit less sane than he did when shooting I’m Still Here, which is saying something.
Props to Anderson for keeping the trailer taught and mysterious—we don’t even get to see Philip Seymour Hoffman, who plays the titular Master, a charismatic leader of a religion (“The Cause”) that is rumored to be a fictionalized (ha-ha) version of Scientology. The film, which also stars Amy Adams, focuses on Phoenix’s character as he falls sway to Hoffman’s charisma and wisdom, briefly, before trying to claw his way back out of it.
This is looking excellent, and with Johnny Greenwood again scoring the film, there’s hope it will live up to the weird thrills of There Will Be Blood. Hopefully it’ll be in theaters later this year, but no solid release date has been confirmed.