Philip Seymour Hoffman's powers were not yet developed enough to lift the gravy boat.


Philip Seymour Hoffman's powers were not yet developed enough to lift the gravy boat.

THE MASTER

The Abridged Script

FADE IN:

EXT. BEACH - 1944

Navy man JOAQUIN PHOENIX lounges on a beach surrounded by SEAMEN.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Ooh, a WWII drama. How epic. I wonder how the praised-to-high-heaven master of subtlety that is Paul Thomas Anderson is going to peel back the layers of my character's psyche and lay his soul bare, as he did so aptly in There Will Be Blood.

JOAQUIN fingerbangs a sand sculpture of a NAKED WOMAN. The shot lasts FAR LONGER than it needs to because CRITICS eat that shit up.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Alright, so I guess I'm a bit of a horndog. I wonder what other motivations lurk below the surface of my tortured, war-scarred mind.

JOAQUIN takes a RORSCHACH TEST where everything looks like a VAGINA or a DICK.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

So I think I'm starting to see a dick-shaped pattern here. Are there any other mysteries that my character could reveal?

JOAQUIN takes a job as a PHOTOGRAPHER and BANGS the first FEMALE CHARACTER with any lines.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

ALRIGHT, I GET IT, I GOT TWAT ON THE BRAIN. JESUS TAPDANCING CHRIST LET'S START THE MOVIE ALREADY.

FEMALE CHARACTER

We could also spend ten seconds explaining why the hell I'd sleep with a mumbling, slope-backed Popeye lookalike.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Well, see, we both get sloshed on this hobo brew I make out of paint thinner and lemons. It turns out I'm pretty good with chemicals as well as a raging sexaholic, which brings my total number of character traits to two.

FEMALE CHARACTER

Three. You're also needlessly violent.

JOAQUIN assaults some RANDOM GUY who just wanted his PICTURE TAKEN.

FEMALE CHARACTER

Make that four. You're also an idiot.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

That's four more than you've got, sister!

(leaves)

EXT. FARM

JOAQUIN has been finding work as a FARMHAND.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Boy, things sure are hard out here for a veteran with no real skills beyond cooking bathtub gin and thinking about orgasms. I wonder if things could get worse?

PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON

Actually this part of the movie is inspired by the life of John Steinbeck, who our middle school-aged viewers will know as the author who titled every chapter he ever wrote as "Then things got worse."

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Aw, shucks. I'm about to take a lead bat right to my Grapes of Wrath, aren't I?

Sure enough, JOAQUIN's formaldehyde martinis put a MIGRANT WORKER on his deathbed. The OTHER WORKERS turn on JOAQUIN and chase him off.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

MY ONLY REGRET IS THAT I DIDN'T FUCK ANY OF YOUUUUUU!!!!!!

INT. BOAT

JOAQUIN stows away aboard a boat. It belongs to none other than PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

Good evening, Joaquin. My name is F. Jon Shlubbard and this is my cult collective of like-minded individuals who travel the world in our private fleet of yachts spreading the gospel about alien intelligences that control our every emotion.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

How utterly unlike Scientology.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

You bet your pasty white ass. Tom Cruise shat a Thetan when he saw an early cut of this film, so to protect Anderson's Hollywood career we're all going to pretend I'm based on some other charismatic, substance-abusing cult figurehead with a penchant for science fiction.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Couldn't that make this film unfocused and ineffectual?

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

We can make up for that with long-ass camera shots.

There is a LONG PAUSE but we do NOT cut away.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

So. Any sane human being would toss your trespassing hobo carcase into the sea but it just so happens I've fallen in love with your magic crystal meth hooch and I'd like to welcome you aboard.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Wow, how fortuitous than my only exceptional skill would be just the ticket into your good graces. But aren't you worried that this kind of substance abuse will kill you?

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

Dude, too soon.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Sorry.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

Anyway, I've decided to make you my unlikely protege. I truly believe my not-Dianetics techniques will be the cure for your wanton sex addiction. Just don't stop cranking out this liquid crack cocaine.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Alcoholism good, sexaholism bad. Got it. How do we start?

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

With a free association game right out of a high school improv class. Take a deep breath, this is all going to be one long take.

JOAQUIN inhales.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

Who are you?

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Joaquin Phoenix.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

What do you like to do?

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Fuck chicks.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

What is your greatest desire?

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Getting my lizard drained.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

What is your darkest fear?

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Celibacy.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

What is your greatest attribute?

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

(points at dick)

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

Who is your ultimate hero?

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Ron Jeremy. Or Charlie Sheen.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

What is your favorite color?

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Vagina colors.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

What is your favorite food?

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Strudel. Just kidding, it's pussy.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

What do you think of this film?

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

A pretentious waste of celluloid.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

What do you think of this film?

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

A middling followup to There Will Be Blood.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

What do you think of this film?

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

An unusual arthouse offering that sometimes struggles to make a point.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

What do you think of this film?

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

An ingenious exploration of psychosexual deviance from one of the premier auteurs of our age.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

Ha, success! My charismatic nonsense has penetrated so deeply into your brain you will accept anything I say! Your brain is now mine to mold as I please! I will begin by allowing you to be the exact same horny, violent alcoholic you were ten minutes ago! Only now I get free antifreeze cocktails whenever I want!

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Tell us about the rabbits, George.

EXT. BOAT DECK

Violent alcoholic JOAQUIN PHOENIX is allowed to wander freely about the boat.

AMY ADAMS

Good evening, heathen. I'm Philip's pregnant, possibly-almost-teenage bride. Have you accepted the warm love of Hoffman into your heart today?

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

I'm more interested in accepting the warm love of that hot young piece of tail into my bed today.

AMY ADAMS

Your naked lust shall go strangely unpunished by any of our brainwashed followers. I guess we're into celibacy lite. So what's your story?

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Well I joined the war after my fifteen year old girlfriend rejected me. I am not kidding. I've got a kissing scene with an actress who could realistically play my granddaughter.

AMY ADAMS

So this unrequited love must form the basis for your sex obsession, right?

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Your guess is as good as mine. It feels more like test footage for a pedophilic sequel to The Notebook.

INT. HOUSE

PHILIP is administering another WHOSE LINE IS IT ANYWAY game to a party of fresh converts. SOME JACKASS decides to call him out on his bullshit.

JACKASS

I have serious doubts about your claims that all of our emotions result from alien intelligences lurking in our bloodstreams.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

I have serious doubts about YOUR ABILITY TO HAVE ALL YOUR TEETH TOMORROW.

JOAQUIN follows the JACKASS back to his hotel room and beats the LIVING PISS out of him. He suffers NO CONSEQUENCES for this and it is NEVER MENTIONED AGAIN.

Later, PHILIP's son, Todd from Breaking Bad JESSE PLEMONS, confides in JOAQUIN.

JESSE PLEMONS

In addition to being full of your Listerine sours, my father is also full of shit. I'm getting sick of listening to his horsecrap.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

I'm getting sick of YOUR UNPUNCHED FACE.

JOAQUIN beats THE LIVING PISS out of JESSE. He suffers NO CONSEQUENCES for this and it is NEVER MENTIONED AGAIN.

Later, PHILIP is being confronted by POLICE.

POLICE

So it turns out you can't practice medicine without a license so we have to arrest you.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

It also turns out if you FUCK WITH THE PHOENIX YOU MIGHT GET BURNED.

JOAQUIN beats the LIVING PISS out of SOME COPS. He suffers SOME CONSEQUENCES for this, for the first time in the movie.

INT. PRISON

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

Joaquin, I appreciate having my own personal attack dog, but I'm starting to think you're not the most stable ally for my movement. Also, Amy thinks you're a double agent working against us, I guess because all of your belligerent, violent behavior is just a clever ruse to ingratiate yourself into our inner circle, somehow.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

I understand your concerns. Allow me to retort by BEATING THE LIVING PISS OUT OF THIS TOILET. Also I've spontaneously developed doubts about your advice, despite doing nothing but blindly defending you ever since I met you.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

If you want my help you're going to have to either get packing or drink the Kool Aid.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

No! I'm done! Your advice has brought me nothing but grief! I'm leaving!

(pause)

Okay I'm back and I love you forever.

INT. MEETING HALL

The SEQUEL to PHILIP's not-Dianetics book drops. PHILIP celebrates with all fifty members of his MOVEMENT.

LAURA DERN

Hey, Phil, listen, I've got a few questions about your latest offering since it seems to have some inconsistencies with your previous teachings.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

Well Laura, whenever you notice something like that, a wizard did it.

LAURA DERN

Yes but your teachings are very clearly riddled with plot holes. Why don't they fly the eagles into Mordor? Time Turners solve every problem. Leia just so happens to be Luke's sister? Skynet could just send a nuke back in time-

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

Xenu fucking dammit, woman! It's not my fault you treat Battlefield Earth like the Bible! I wish Joaquin was here to beat the living piss out of you!

But JOAQUIN is unavailable, due to him currently BEATING THE LIVING PISS out of PHILIP's irate editor just outside the meeting hall. He suffers NO CONSEQUENCES for this and it is NEVER MENTIONED AGAIN.

EXT. SUBURBS

JOAQUIN has once again fled the movement to go to reconnect with his TEENAGE BRIDE-TO-BE.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

'Scuse me, ma'am. Whatever happened to that fifteen year old girl who used to live here?

LADY

Oh, she's married with kids now.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Whoa, wait. She's got to be like twenty years old tops.

LADY

Yup. This is the 1950's after all. If a girl doesn't have her life set before puberty ended she might as well hop on the homeless train to whoresville.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Wow. Greatest Generation my ass. Anyway, I respect the fact that this teenage girl who I was obsessed with for one summer has found happiness with another man, hopefully one who wasn't in college when she was born. I'll leave now.

LADY

Truly you have found peace or something.

EXT. SCHOOL, ENGLAND

JOAQUIN learns PHILIP has set up a new recruitment center in ENGLAND. He hops the ATLANTIC OCEAN to confront PHILIP one last time.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

So, you've decided to travel thousands of miles just to come groveling back to me.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Well, this might be kind of a dream.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

Where is that indicated? Your last dream sequence featured dozens of nude women cavorting around my mansion, yet Amy here clearly has her clothes on.

AMY ADAMS

I also hate you. This feels pretty realistic.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Well we've got to resolve our complex relationship arc somehow.

AMY ADAMS

How should you do that? Another improv game to indicate the full circle you completed?

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

That could work.

PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

Or I could sing you a heartfelt ballad.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Uh, okay....

PHILIP sings to JOAQUIN for some goddam reason.

INT. HOTEL

JOAQUIN is in bed with some RANDOM NAKED LADY.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Wait, what? You mean I haven't learned a goddam thing from all this? I still treat women like fleshlights you have to feed?

NAKED LADY

Looks like it.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

So what was the point of all this?

NAKED LADY

To dissect the idealized myth of Golden Age Americana.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

What was the point of all this?

NAKED LADY

Informing the audience of the dangers of blind faith.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

What was the point of all this?

NAKED LADY

To make the Hubbard biopic everyone else is too afraid to touch.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

What was the point of all this?

NAKED LADY

To give Paul Thomas Anderson some artsy porn to whack it to while also taking lazy pot shots at Hollywood Scientologists that are too subtle to be thought-provoking and too vague to do any real damage.

JOAQUIN PHOENIX

Bingo.

END


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