Filmic 2017: The Film Scores of Jonny Greenwood

The Master 15

The Master

Having forged a spectacularly potent working relationship with their 2007 masterpiece There Will be Blood, it was little surprise that Paul Thomas Anderson once again reached out to Jonny Greenwood to score his follow up to convey the fear, neurosis, and paranoia surrounding his tale of an emergent cult in post-war America.

Freddie (Joaquin Phoenix) is a miserable, sex obsessed alcoholic and World War II veteran who finds himself taken in by Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the leader of a quasi-mystical enterprise called The Cause who claims he knows how to return man to a state of perfection. He indulges Freddie's penchant for violence and disturbed thoughts with long sessions of interrogration, but when Dodd's son confides to Freddie that 'he's making this all up as he goes along', Freddie starts to lose his delicate grip on reality.

A grandiose score, shrouded in enigma, The Master further showcased Greenwood’s nuanced musical mind – running the gamut from serenity to disquiet, tranquillity to agitation. A mesmeric collaboration, his sparse and minimal orchestral concoction of strings, piano, and ambient studio trickery perfectly captured the strangeness of Anderson’s confounding cinematic world.

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