I finally saw "The Master" yesterday, via Netflix. Many who have viewed it ahead of me talked about the mastery of Joaquin Phoenix in his role. While I thought he was good, I failed to see the mastery. What I did notice was his strange hands-on-hips posture and his equally strange tittering laugh when he seemed nervous about something. His violent rages I did not understand, other than that they seemed an exertation of anger at how his "master" was being mistreated. But that didn't seem to hold true as he abandoned him at several points in the film.
The silliness of the mental routines for Phoenix (and others) didn't hold true for me although SWMBO said it was very similar to the mind-bending employed by the leaders of the Scientology movement, which many say this movie is based on. Since I have never studied Scientology, I can't say. But the accusations of one person in the movie, a John More, seem to go to the narrow focus of the cult. But, is it a cult?
Scientology certainly seems to be and the followers of Lancaster Dodd and his wife certainly seem to be.
But back to the movie. Is it good? I'd give it about a 5 on a scale of 10. It's fascinating but it doesn't seem to provide any truths.
Hooray for Hollywood!