The ivy-clad halls of Newport, Rhode Island’s stoic Braylin College are about to get shaken up (or at least that’s what administrators think). Renowned philosophy professor Abe Lucas (Joaquin Phoenix) has agreed to join the school’s faculty as a visiting instructor for the summer program. His arrival is heralded as a major coup for the university, given his pedigree as one of the field’s most insightful academics. But his standing precedes him in other ways, too; the handsome young scholar has earned quite a reputation as a ladies’ man.
What makes a good relationship? That’s a question mankind has wrestled with for ages (or at least ever since Woody Allen started making movies), but the answer has always seemed to elude us, shifting like an ever-moving target. And the clarity we seek on this point may be even harder to come by with the release of the latest offering from director Spike Jonze, the romantic comedy-drama, “Her.”
Getting a handle on that which does not serve us is one of the greatest personal growth challenges that many of us will face in life. Achieving control over such matters often pushes us to take steps we never thought ourselves capable of, a journey that often includes both victories and setbacks on our way to attaining proficiency. One man’s search for that goal is the subject of one of this year’s most anticipated releases, director Paul Thomas Anderson’s “The Master.”