Directed by: Paul Thomas Anderson
Staring: Philip Seymour Hoffman, Joaquin Phoenix and Amy Adam
Winner of top prizes at the Venice 2013 festival, this is a film about disturbed characters and their power over others. Freddie Quell (Phoenix) is a damaged sailor newly demobbed from the Navy who falls under the spell of charismatic, cult leader Lancaster Dodd (Seymour Hoffman). Unable to hold down a regular job, Quell is subject to brainwashing techniques and becomes Lancaster’s violent henchman. They develop a mutual dependency which forms the basis of this intelligent psychodrama. Amy Adams, as the latest Mrs Dodd, and the lead actors deliver excellent performances, supported by superb cinematography.