I have two movies for your consideration. Both are available on DVD.
The first is The Master (2012, Rated R).
I'm going to tell you right off the bat that I didn't really understand this movie. If it had a point, I don't know what it was. Freddie Quell (Joaquin Phoenix) gets out of the Navy after World War II and joins a cult called The Cause, led by The Master (Philip Seymour Hoffman). The Master teaches reincarnation and leads his followers in exercises that are supposed to lead them to some sort of self-realization. The Master's own son tells Freddie Quell that his dad is making up The Cause as he goes along.
Nevertheless, Quell becomes an ardent follower, and develops a close relationship with The Master, though The Master's family warns him that Quell drinks and will cause trouble.
In spite of the failings in this movie, I can tell you three reasons to watch it:
- The portrayal of the relationship between Freddie Quell and The Master
- Philip Seymour Hoffman's performance
- Amy Adams' performance as The Master's wife
Phoenix was nominated for the Best Actor Academy Award, Hoffman for Best Supporting Actor, and Adams for Best Supporting Actress. As you probably already know, none of them won. I was most impressed by Amy Adams' quiet intensity. I have loved her since she played the adorable girl in Enchanted, but this is a completely different Amy Adams.
The Master has The Kinda Sorta Janie Junebug Seal of Approval (never before given).
The second movie is Being Flynn (2012, Rated R). I could relate to this movie. It incorporates two of my favorite themes: the inteconnectedness of humankind, and writing the story of your life.
Nick Flynn (Paul Dano), who is in his 20s and jobless, suddenly hears from his father after an 18 year absence. Jonathan Flynn (Robert DeNiro) is being evicted. He requests his son's help in taking his belongings to a storage shed. But soon after, Nick gets a job at a shelter for the homeless, where Jonathan becomes a regular "guest," confusing Nick and disrupting his life.
Jonathan is an alcoholic with grandiose delusions that he is a brilliant writer. Nick actually has the potential to be a writer, but with his father around, he starts using drugs, and almost ends his career before it can start.
Dano and DeNiro work well together. Being Flynn is based on a true story. I found it interesting and moving. Being Flynn has The Janie Junebug Seal of Approval.
Warning: Neither one of these movies is for children. I wouldn't let younger teens watch them either, and older teens should watch only with parental supervision and a willingness for discussion. If you do not want to hear profanity, see graphic nudity (The Master), or drug use and alcoholism (Being Flynn has both and The Master has a great deal of drinking), then you don't want to see these movies.
On the other hand, if you watch them, you'll see some great performances by excellent actors, and I liked the hopeful outcome of Being Flynn.
I hope you have a great weekend.
Infinities of love,