The New Yorker’s review of ‘The Master’

I’m generally not the biggest fan of Anthony Lane’s New Yorker film reviews, but I think he puts together a strong argument with Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest:

Here is frustration made flesh, with fearsome results; would it be heretical or ungrateful to say that there are times, when Phoenix is in full spate, and when Hoffman is revealing similar ruptures of rage in Dodd’s more genial façade, when there is just too much acting going on, perhaps with a capital “A”? Or that Jonny Greenwood’s rich and inventive score is used with such unceasing fervor that you almost want it, now and then, to take a break and leave the action in peace? On reflection, and despite these cavils, we should bow to “The Master,” because it gives us so much to revere…

For me, the screenplay fell flat in the latter half of the film, which made me like it far less than I expected going in. Yet there is so much to admire, much of what is highlighted in Lane’s piece.