Venice: Philip Seymour Hoffman shines as a cult leader in The Master, a compelling new film inspired by the real life of Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard about how power and faith can corrupt.
The movie, from There Will Be Blood director Paul Thomas Anderson, has its world premiere at the Venice film festival and with the Weinstein Company behind it as US distributor, Oscar nominations look like a decent bet.
It was labelled "controversial" months before release mainly because of parallels with Scientology, a self-described religion followed by some of Hollywood's biggest names that has a reputation for carefully guarding its image.
Its detractors describe the movement as a cult, which they say harasses people who seek to quit, although the movement rejects the criticism. Anderson confirmed that Hoffman's character Lancaster Dodd, a charismatic, charming and controlling man who leads a faith named 'The Cause', was based on Hubbard, who died in 1986....more
11:11 AM, Sep 03, 2012