Watch the trailer for The Master, Paul Thomas Anderson's first film in five years

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Fall always brings the lion’s share of the year’s “serious” new films, but late summer is when advance word and initial trailers build anticipation for specific (and potentially great) movies. The film we are most looking forward to right now is called The Master. It’s the first film in five years by director Paul Thomas Anderson, who has only made six movies in a 16-year career. His last film, There Will Be Blood, earned eight Oscar nominations and was chosen best of the decade by a range of prominent critics.

Our favorite P.T. Anderson film is Boogie Nights, which captures the essence of the 1970s like no other movie we know, though its subject matter — the pornography industry in Southern California’s San Fernando Valley — has probably limited its reach. All of Anderson’s movies have an operatic quality that reminds us of Francis Ford Coppola, a filmmaker whose storied career is currently ripe for renewed appreciation.

The Master stars Joaquin Phoenix, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Laura Dern and Amy Adams. It’s about a ’50s religious cult leader that some have already compared to L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of The Church of Scientology. The Master will probably open in New Orleans on October 21. Watch the first full trailer below. Then go here if you want more excerpts.

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