Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia) finally lets us in on his award-hungry, cult-inspired drama. The film is described as being loosely based on the story of L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology (so as to avoid lawsuits from rabid, Dianetics-crazed lawyers). Joaquin Phoenix plays a Naval veteran who comes home from World War II uncertain and unsettled. He finds possible solace, though, in the teachings of a fringe religion known as The Cause—not to mention its charismatic leader (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman). This one might be a bit cerebral, but it's gonna clean up come Oscar time.137 minutes R.
Times and listings are for Friday 12/15 through Thursday 12/21