Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman for ‘The Master’ in Venice: awesome?

Joaquin Phoenix

Here are some photos from the premiere of Paul Thomas Anderson’s The Master at the Venice Film Festival. Naturally, Joaquin Phoenix and Philip Seymour Hoffman were the big stars on the red carpet, and they did the deed with aplomb. Phoenix looks very ready to earn his rep back, but I’m not sure about those (strategic?) grey stripes that are resting atop his temples. Sadly, Amy Adams was not on hand, and I bet producer Harvey Weinstein was kicking himself for not making her come just so that someone — anyone — would have to wear one of Georgina Chapman’s awful Marchesa dresses. You know, if I was a famous movie star with a lot of power, “absolutely NO Marchesa” would be one of my contract stipulations. I still can’t believe Kristen Stewart got wrangled into one of those hot messes. At this point, Joaquin and Philip have probably never been happier in their entire lives to not be a chick.

Philip Seymour Hoffman

Joaquin Phoenix

As for the premiere itself, things appeared to go quite well, and The Master is currently enjoying a 100% rating on the Rotten Tomatoes aggregator. If the full trailer is any indication, the movie will be a treat for critics of Scientology, and we’ve already heard that Tom Cruise “had issues” with the film after PTA gave him a private screening (they previously worked togeter in Magnolia, so PTA may have figured that Tom at least deserved a “heads up”). PTA himself has given a new interview to The Daily Beast, and he wants people to know that while the movie bears striking similarities to the CO$ origin story, that’s not all that’s going on. I think PTA was ultimately aiming to examine the lives of WWII vets and their reinsertion into society. Here are some excerpts:

On The Master‘s subject matter: Anderson freely acknowledges that this flamboyant character–a self-described author, sea captain, physicist, and philosopher-was inspired by L. Ron Hubbard. Once word of this leaked out, The Master immediately got tagged as Anderson’s “Scientology movie.” “I was naive,” the director says, somewhat ruefully. “I should have known that’s what people would latch onto.” But if you’re expecting to see an expos