Buzz around Paul Thomas Anderson's upcoming film "The Master" continues to build. A new trailer focusing on Joaquin Phoenix's character is making the rounds on the Internet, and it's a beauty.
Phoenix plays a devotee and protege of Philip Seymour Hoffman's Lancaster Dodd, a writer and eventual cult leader with undeniable similarities to L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology. In the clip, which was released Wednesday in support of a Chicago screening, Phoenix's character is seen struggling under the duress of his faith.
The film is Phoenix's attempt at a comeback after he imperiled his career with the elaborate stunt film "I'm Still Here." That movie, which showed Phoenix trying to launch a rap career, alienated fans as well as the film and music industries.
Previous trailers for the "The Master" have evoked a haunting vibe, so it's actually possible this film will be a great piece of cinema.
In an interview with HuffPost Entertainment, Harvey Weinstein (whose TWC is behind the film) maintained that the movie was simply "a journey for soldiers after World War II."
"My own dad was one of those guys – and, you know, one of the things that happens to this soldier is he goes to a cult," he said. "Look, I mean, whatever, people are going to draw their own conclusions, and right now there are heated conclusions, and the Tom and Katie situation has exacerbated that. It’s going to be a controversial movie. But it’s a tour de force. I hope what doesn’t get lost is how wonderful the film-making is."
The trailer is not yet available for embedding, so for now, head over to Worst Previews to see it. We'll be sure to add it to this post as soon as possible.
UPDATE: Watch the trailer above.
"The Master" will see a limited release Sept. 14, and screen at both the Toronto International Film Festival and the Venice Film Festival.