This year has seen a huge number of films hailed as ‘the movie of the year’, and The Master is a title central to this year long debate.

Paul Thomas Anderson’s latest film centres around a Naval veteran, who returns from war uncertain of his future and finds himself tantalised by the charismatic leader of ‘The Cause’.

Known for his striking, high quality and powerful work, Anderson consistently produces films that leave a real impression, and The Master is no different.

Not without it’s quirks this film really does take a look at people, the inevitable differences met in life and the way people seek acceptance.

While the script, exceptionally developed characters and the cinematography are all nothing short of faultless, the power of this film for me really rested with the actors and the stellar performances.

What really hits home as you watch The Master is the charismatic characters and Phillip Seymour Hoffman, a long time favourite of Anderson, delivers a spellbinding performance as Lancaster Dodd, that will leave you mesmerised. Phoenix too is outstanding, and his character’s troubled and lost persona is crafted and delivered with a sense of tension that puts you on edge, never really letting you know what to expect from his troubled character, Freddie Quell. Amy Adams is not to be forgotten, portraying the devoted wife of the The Cause’s leader she lurks ominously in the background, always casting a shadow, and commanding attention with a subtle yet startling performance.

Cinematically the film is a thing of beauty, Paul Thomas Anderson, director of Magnolia and more recently There Will Be Blood, takes his very unique approach to film making and stamps it all over this stunning piece of cinema. Commanding the best from his actors his also captures seemingly small details and throws light onto them. This combined with soaring shots creates a world on screen that you can’t fail to be sucked into.

The Master will have you departing the cinema questioning some key things in life, such as can people really change, and should you ever really try to change them.

Paul Thomas-Anderson’s latest offering is a non-conventional yet truly outstanding work that will leave an impression on you long after the credits have rolled.

The Master is on general release from 16th November

Vicky Hinault