The much-anticipated film from Paul Thomas Anderson, his first since 2007's There Will Be Blood, follows Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix), a former Naval officer turned drifter who falls under the spell of Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), a charismatic intellectual who is forming his own religion.
Others have observed similarities between Dodd's story and Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, something cast and crew have repeatedly denied, most recently to Entertainment Weekly.
“It’s not the L. Ron Hubbard story… [Scientology] was one of the bigger movements at the time, but there were a lot of movements at that time. There’s nothing about how I’m behaving or talking that echoes [Hubbard]. I thought of a lot of other bigger-than-life personalities, charismatic people like Orson Welles.”
That said, it's hard not to see a few of those "echoes" in the following clip, titled 'She Wrote Me A Letter', which shows Hoffman's Dodd giving a lecture while Phoenix's Quell undergoes an emotionally intensive analysis. Are these 'echoes' of auditing? Given that I've never visited a Scientology centre, I can't say for sure. I'll get back to you on that.
The performances look magnificent, career-best, Oscar-worthy, whatever exultations you want to toss their way. Mihai Malaimare Jr.'s photography looks gorgeous and Jonny Greenwood's score sounds sublime.
Speaking of Greenwood, here is a track from his potentially Oscar-worthy score (to right the wrong of There Will Be Blood's eligibility issues). The track is titled "Application 45 Version I". Enjoy.
The potential masterpiece is slowly rolling out with 70mm preview presentations before its official premiere at Venice, followed by a festival appearance at Toronto, London Film Festival is expected to get a screening before the official opening day on 9th November.
Source: The Playlist