PSH is The Master!
Leslie - wrote on 02/09/14
What I felt this film captured best, was how an extremely charismatic person can construct a family oriented environment, and attract people who are looking to fill a familial void. Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is the consummate patriarch and champion of “The Cause,” seducing Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) with his philosophical teachings. Lancaster is a father, brother, and messiah to Freddie, a wandering WWII Veteran with no wife or children.
As part of the movement, Freddie can marry and have a family of his own. With the promise of a new life, Freddie is totally devoted to Lancaster. But even this is not enough to placate the angst that Freddie constantly endures over his past lover Doris Solstad (Madisen Beaty), and a restless spirit he’s inherited from the trauma of war. The dialogue between Hoffman and Phoenix is intensely rich, accented by explosions that can only come about when lit by the fiery passion of zealotry.