There is some magnificent acting in The Master, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Magnolia, Boogie Nights, There Will Be Blood). First of all, there's Joaquin Phoenix as the hard-drinking and physically abusive WWII Navy veteran, Freddie Quell. This guy is frayed. Something eclipsed his heart and the stuff he drinks isn't doing a thing for his emotional stability. He will drink just about anything as long as it burns. The movie opens when he's still a sailor in the Pacific and we see him basically castrating a tree. He climbed up a tree and whacked off two big coconuts. That sure looked symbolic to me.