An article in a Chicago newspaper states The Master will play at both Venice and TIFF before the film opens in early September, though neither festival officials, or anyone at Weinstein will comment.
Director/writer Paul Thomas Anderson has been to TIFF before with Boogie Nights (1997) as a work in progress, which still knocked critics out, and Punch Drunk Love (2002) which also drew a strong response.
I cannot see The Weinstein Company turning down or missing the chance to screen the film before it opens, can you? They know all too well that TIFF is very much part of the Oscar game, which has become much like a well played game of chess. Conquering TIFF is akin to taking your opponents Queen and still having yours, as well as both rooks and bishops, giving you the edge. Good reviews at TIFF go a long way to bolstering a film’s Oscar chances, and the early word on The Master has been strong.
The cast are all nominees, with Phillip Seymour Hoffman having won the Oscar as Best Actor for Capote (2005). Joaquin Phoenix is back in movies after a bizarre “retirement” and foray into documentary filmmaking a former nominee for Gladiator (2001) and as Johnny Cash in Walk the Line (2005), while Amy Adams has been nominated for Junebug (2005), Doubt (2008) and The Fighter (2010) and should have been nominated for her wonderful work in Enchanted (2007).
Anderson of course has been nominated for his screenwriting of Boogie Nights (1997), Magnolia (1999), and was Best Director and Screenwriting nominee for his masterpiece There Will Be Blood (2007).
TIFF officials did confirm that there were more Galas and Special Presentation announcements still to come, as well as the Masters programme, also a good fit for the film and Anderson.