'The Master' Trailer: Paul Thomas Anderson's Maybe-Scientology Film Gets Sparkling Trailer (VIDEO)

07/19/2012 07:55 pm ET | Updated Jul 20, 2012

"Upon your shoulders rests the responsibility of a post-war world."

One of the most highly anticipated releases of 2012 finally has a proper theatrical trailer. Paul Thomas Anderson's "The Master" received a full-length teaser on Thursday and it easily ranks as one of the best bits of marketing this year.

The Weinstein Company released the "Master" trailer on the heels of a brand new poster for the film (which debuted exclusively on HuffPost Entertainment on Wednesday), and the clip showcases what may very well end up being two of the 20 Oscar-nominated performances at the 85th annual Academy Awards: Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix.

In the film, Anderson's first since "There Will Be Blood" in 2007, Hoffman plays Lancaster Dodd, "a writer, a doctor, a nuclear physicist, a theoretical philosopher," and creator of a cult-like religion that may or may not be a thinly veiled stand-in for Scientology. ("I don't know what you've heard and what script you've read," Philip Seymour Hoffman told Hollywood Elsewhere blogger Jeffrey Wells last year, "[but] trust me, it's not about Scientology.")

Phoenix, making a comeback of sorts after his failed attempt at Andy Kaufman-like meta humor with "I'm Still Here," plays a troubled Navy veteran who becomes Dodd's protege. (Amy Adams plays Dodd's wife.)

The new trailer gives "The Master" some more context beyond the two previously released teasers, plus offers a first glimpse at Jesse Plemons (Landry from "Friday Night Lights"!) playing Hoffman's onscreen son. It's also absolutely gorgeous -- Mihai Malaimare Jr., who shot Francis Ford Coppola's "Tetro," handles the cinematography -- and harrowing and scary and dreamy and intense and broad and perfect. Basically, your typical Paul Thomas Anderson film. All of which raises one question: Is Oct. 12 here yet?

Watch the trailer above. Check out the poster for "The Master" below.

[Click for bigger]

the master poster

Paul Thomas Anderson Movies

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