A Most Wanted Man could have been a tense espionage yarn, but director and cast seem distinctly uninterested in delivering the nail-biting goods.
Philip Seymour Hoffman
In his performances, Philip Seymour Hoffman was able to give enormous depth to the loners, the scoundrels, the lost, the villainous, and the heartbroken.
Teams of string coaches were deployed to make this quartet of actors look like they knew what they are doing with their instruments, but no critic has noticed how completely unrelated the motions of their left hands — finger placement and vibrato — are to the music that is played, with the exception of Christopher Walken, who looks like he is playing his cello correctly and producing real music.
Director Paul Thomas Anderson doesn’t provide answers nor does he pose questions: the ambiguity of his characters and his confounding storytelling style are what drive “The Master.”
“The Master” is not easily pigeon-holed as a film but one can argue that it is, at its core, a brilliant anti-war movie.