"The Master" appears to be moving closer to dropping out of serious contention for any major Academy Awards. What a difference a few months makes. At the beginning of the fall movie season-or, as it is known in Hollywood, Academy Award season-"The Master" seemed destined to be among the leaders of the pack all across the board, from acting to directing to writing to Best Picture.
Suddenly, everything's not exactly coming up Paul Thomas Anderson anymore. The Producers Guild declined to name "The Master" one of the ten best movies of the year. The Art Directors Guild also gave "The Master" a pass when its nominations came out. Then there are the Golden Globes. While "The Master" picked up a trio of acting award nominations from the Hollywood Foreign Press Association…well, that was all the film picked up.
Paul Thomas Anderson failed to crack the top five nominees for director and the film was seen as neither one of the five best dramas or musical/comedies by those strange foreigners in charge of nominations for the Golden Globes. It was, in fact, the Globes that sent "The Master" tumbling down from its position as a black-leather clad guy with a whip to a full-bosomed submissive slave on all fours preparing for punishment.
And punishment it has been. One after another of the big precursors to that glorious day when some comely young woman doesn't even bother going to sleep in order to arrive looking hot enough for the early morning announcement of Oscar nominations have taken their turn cracking the whip down hard on the exposed buttocks of the previous dominant fictionalized vision of the founder of Scientology.
Could there be a connection there? It's one thing for critics across the nation to express love for "The Master" but out there in Hollywood many of those who actually make their living working in the Industry-by which I mean, of course, the Business-view not Paul Thomas Anderson as a Master, but Elrond Hubbard the Elf, himself. I mean, that is to say, L. Ron Hubbard.
The sudden, shocking turnaround of Paul Thomas Anderson's film from a master lording over the coming Oscar nominations to a submissive crying out in pain with the latest flaying of her voluptuous red bottom may well be due to a concerted effort among the active Scientology crowd in this company town.