Let's all overanalyze this new poster for Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master
Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master has so far been previewed by microscopic filmstrips, cryptic teasers, and numerous assertions that the movie about the creation of a 20th-century cult is not explicitly about Scientology. In other words, it's been the perfect amount of withheld information and obfuscation for a movie that is, let's face it, probably about Scientology. Now there's also this just-released poster image debuted on The Huffington Post, which we can similarly scrutinize from our outsiders' perspective, but never truly understand until we finally ascend to a certain level of awareness. Is its evoking of a liquor or wine bottle label a nod to Joaquin Phoenix's character's alcoholism, and the way this makes him more susceptible to the influence of Philip Seymour Hoffman's charismatic leader? Is there a "the glass is half-full/empty" dynamic being explored here that evokes Hoffman's particular philosophy? Is the film settling into a bath of Tom Cruise's hot tears? Let's force it to submit to taking a deeply personal inventory.