The Oscars, Analysed, Part Three

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My deconstruction of this year’s academy awards continues with the Best Supporting Actor category.

The Nominees: Robert De Niro  ‘Silver Linings Playbook’;  Philip Seymour Hoffman  ‘The Master’; Alan Arkin  ‘Argo’; Christoph Waltz  ‘Django Unchained’ and  Tommy Lee Jones ‘Lincoln’.

This year’s nominees for this category are all previous Oscar winners, and are all worthy winners of this year’s award. Naturally,  there are snubs, Samuel L. Jackson and Leonardo DiCaprio for “Django Unchained”,  also favourites of mine were Jason Clarke for ‘Zero Dark Thirty’, James Spader for ‘Lincoln’ or even Dwight Henry for ‘Beasts Of The Southern Wild’ and Javier Bardem for ‘Skyfall’. In short, to say this is heavily contested is an understatement.

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Who should win: Philip Seymour Hoffman  ‘The Master’. Astounding performance from Hoffman, who can argue he had a lead role, playing the writer/psychiatrist/nuclear physicist/cult leader who is facing his toughest challenge yet. I think it is one of the best performances of the year, in any category, and he must win in my book. All the nominees are sold though.

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Who will win: Tommy Lee Jones ‘Lincoln’. I’m going out on a limb here, most pre-Oscar awards have been favouring Waltz for the win, and he really does seem a shoe in. But, I think the Oscar will go to Lee Jones. Lincoln will probably be favoured more by the academy and Lee Jones’ role as an abolitionist with a secret motive will probably fascinate the voters, as it fascinated me

Yazen Al Samen

Toronto International Film Festival Part II

Words by Naomi Jeffreys

“You do this for a billion years or not at all. It’s not fashion,” Mary Sue Dodd, The Master.

The Master is the hotly anticipated ‘scientology movie’ of 2012. Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood) and a host of American movie stars, including: Kirsten Dunst, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams.

It’s reception at the Toronto Film Festival has been met to favourable reviews; twitchfilm.com has said: The Master is brilliant and/or confounding and/or terrible. It may be talked about for the ages or forgotten in a few years. It may be a masterpiece, and/or it may be empty of content masked by strong moments of acting prowess and visual flare. It is a repetitive film. The Master may, indeed, be brilliant, but it is a hard film to love, and an easy film to hate.” 

Check out the images of the cast from the Toronto Film Festival:

The Master – Official Trailer

Scientology – Hollywood’s greatest enigma, the odd religion, cult, formed and created by L. Ron Howard. Which has since attracted famous stars to follow the religion, perhaps most famously Tom Cruise.

The trailer’s style feels as much as an enigma as Scientology itself, with the opening music being other worldly, music which is on the outskirts of society, much like Hoffman’s character, supposedly based on L.Ron Howard.

So what’s it about? The synopsis, according to IMDB is: ‘A 1950s-set drama centered on the relationship between a charismatic intellectual known as “the Master” whose faith-based organization begins to catch on in America, and a young drifter who becomes his right-hand man.’

It is directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Punch-Drunk Love, Magnolia) his style is clear in the trailer. This film appears to be a character study of Lancaster Dodd, and how he formed Scientology:
“Good science, by definition, allows for more than one opinion, otherwise you merely have the will of one man. Which is the basis of cult”

We know that Hoffman portrays Lancaster Dodd, the man who is supposedly based on L.Ron Howard. Phoenix portrays Freddie Sutton and Amy Adams portrays Dodd’s strong willed wife, Mary Sue Dodd.

The film has some stellar actors; Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adams play the main cast.

Mary Sue Dodd is a force to be reckoned with, Adams spits the lines:
“And this is where we are at? To have to explain ourselves, for what? The only way to defend ourselves is to attack”

Phoenix asks Hoffman: “What do you do?” Hoffman replies: “I am a Writer, a Doctor, a Nuclear Physicst, a Theoretical Philosopher, but above all, I am a Man, I’m just like you”

Clearly, Hollywood has been begging for a Scientology film, with real life stars following the religion, it is about time cinema goers gained an insight in to this religion.

And if the trailer is anything to go by. It sure is going to be insightful.

The Master is expected to be released on October 12 2012