First Impressions Arrive as Secretly Unspools ‘The Master’ In Santa Monica

Paul Thomas Anderson secretly attached his “The Master” to a screening of Stanley Kubrick‘s The Shining at an American Cinematheque screening last night in Santa Monica’s Aero Theater.

A source at Hollywood Elsewhere said he saw PTA “lingering in the back [of the theater] before The Shining started” with wife Maya Rudolph. Before Kubrick’s film came on screen, there was the announcement “that there would be a mystery 70mm movie projected as a second feature.” Audiences left after watching Kubrick’s masterpiece and then came back half-hour later to see a 70mm project of The Master, which was reportedly around 130 to 150 minutes.

Here’s some impressions regarding the movie, by audience. Mostly about Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman, but also was told it’s the best work Amy did so far.

I’m still digesting everything I saw, but it was pretty amazing. It was like a strange fever dream. [But] not audience friendly AT ALL. An ambiguous ending and not one likable character. And without any ‘milkshake’ lines, it probably won’t have the breakthrough that There Will Be Blood had. There are three or four scenes between Phoenix and Hoffman that are barn burners. It also containts the best work Amy Adams has ever done.

Phoenix WILL win Best Actor unless Daniel Day Lewis blows us away with [his] Lincoln performance. This is Raging Bull territory for him. Believe it or not, his performance is stranger than that fake doc he made. The only way I can describe him is ‘animalistic.’ (I think the Master title refers to more of a dog and his master. At least that was the vibe I got). The style feels like Terrence Malick by way of There Will Be Blood. – Hollywood Elsewhere


Don’t want to say more than a few words about it but it is an all around excellent film. If it were me, I’d put them both [Phoenix and Hoffman] in the Best Actor category but if one them is getting the supporting nod, its Hoffman. I’ve yet to see one bad PSH performance but this one may be his best. Will get nods for Picture. Good chance of winning original screenplay and acting awards.


The Master was amazing. Oscars all over this one…see The Master in 70 mm. Looked gorgeous and its the way P.T Anderson wants you to see it.


Just saw “The Master”. A movie has never made me feel quite like this one did. I can’t describe it or even rate it. I am speechless.


THE MASTER is…interesting…I’ll be thinking about it for days#THEMASTER70MM J Phoenix and P S Hoffman are out of this world.


PTA’s best. Not a doubt in my mind. Possibly the best film watching experience I’ve ever had. #THEMASTER70MM


Just saw secret screening of The Master with P.T. Anderson and Maya Rudolph in attendance. It’s about much more than Scientology.


Hoffman is one of the finest actors alive. The Master is (more) proof. #themaster


Saw The Master in 70mm at the Aero Santa Monica. Surprise screening after The Shining. Its like nothing yvever seen before.


The Master: B+ hazy, meandering story with beautiful staging and headed by Phoenix’s brilliant, year’s-best performance.”


THE MASTER is…interesting…I’ll be thinking about it for days #THEMASTER70MM J Phoenix and P S Hoffman are out of this world


duuuuuude, the master was goooooooooood

The Master, starring Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Amy Adams, arrives in theaters on September 14th.