Although it’s breaking box office receipt records at art house movie theaters, the highly acclaimed new film, THE MASTER, is more than likely to spur the latest vocal outrage against a controversial religious-themed film. Starring award winning actor Philip Seymour Hoffman in perhaps his finest film role ever, almost certain to garner him yet another Oscar nomination, THE MASTER is certainly a highly fictionalized account of a religious cult leader. Scientologists are beginning to revolt because this film seems to be heavily influenced by the life story of L. Ron Hubbard, more than other known religious leader. Once again art will test the limits of free speech in the United States, where Scientologists might even attempt some legal actions such as lawsuits against this film, although this work is entirely fictional.
Part of what the Sociologists find so offensive is the relationship of Philip Seymour Hoffman’s character as the leader of a cult, who uses a violent young man, Joaquin Phoenix to do his dirty work, like a sort of religious organization hit-man, where this religious organization looks much like an organized crime organization than any church.
Directed and produced by Paul Thomas Anderson, who reportedly screened the film with his friend, Tom Cruise, to get his opinions about the film, Tom Cruise had some objections to some parts of the film according to Wikipedia.
The film may become an interesting rally point for First Amendment supporters in Hollywood, who will likely nominate the film for major awards in order to make a statement against those who oppose freedom of speech to make controversial religious-themed films.
You can expect the film to get plenty of publicity and buzz, as well as controversy as freedom of speech issues will once again be raised by this film that has so far garnered terrific critical praise.