The Master, a film supposedly based on L. Ron Hubbard and his Scientology religion, won Best Picture at the Venice Film Festival. However, it didn’t get to keep the award. It was later pulled. That’s because the judging rules got broken.
According to the festival’s rules, no movie can win more than two awards. Originally, the movie in question was given three Silver Lion Awards. The first went to Philip Seymour Hoffman and Joaquin Phoenix as Best Actors. The second one went to Paul Thomas Anderson for Best Director. That left the third award, Best Picture, in question.
The powers that be decided to pull that award. Then they turned around and gave it to the South Korean film, Pieta.
Harry Weinstein, who produced the former film, took the snafu with grace saying he thought the new choice was better. As for the director’s take. Anderson said he’d heard rumors about the mistake but wasn’t hurt by the change. “…I’m thrilled with whatever we got,” he assured everyone.
Buzz about The Master is already growing strong. That’s partly because of the film’s subject. A lot of people want to find out how L. Ron Hubbard brainwashed his followers into accepting Scientology with such fervent zeal. That’s assuming, of course, that the movie accurately depicts the cult religion. So far, they’re only claiming a “similarity” to Scientology.
The second reason people are anxious to see the movie has to do with the cast. It’s a strong one with Hoffman and Phoenix being joined by equally talented actresses, Laura Dern and Amy Adams. Rumor is the foursome deliver powerhouse performances worthy of one or two Academy Awards.
To see if any of the scuttlebutt is true, however, fans will have to wait until October 12th. That’s the movie’s U.S. release date.