The Master is now out on DVD and will soon be available on the satellite channels depending on which broadband services provider you use. Remember; streaming movies via broadband is just as good as watching them on DVD if your provision is good enough. But however you decide to watch it – just make sure you don’t miss it. This is one of the best movies of modern times and, like almost all good movies, it’s been somewhat overlooked.

The movie tells the story of one Freddie Quell (unforgettably played by Joaquin Phoenix), who is a World War two veteran trying to adjust to life. During this difficult process, he bumps into a religious leader called Lancaster Dodd (and played by the always-excellent Philip Seymour Hoffman) when he gets drunk and stows away on the Dodd’s yacht.

The philosophical-cum-religious sect is called “The Cause,” and the leader spots something that interests him in Quell – so he decides to accept him into The Cause movement.

Freddie Quell gradually begins to like what he sees in The Cause and starts to travel around the country with Lancaster Dodd to spread the good word of the movement. Dodd then introduces Freddie to the movement’s exercise known as “Processing”, during which he is made to undergo intense psychological questioning. The aim of this is to overcome any previous traumas Freddie may have had.

During this process, we learn that his father is dead, his mother is in an institution and he hints at a sexual relationship with his aunt. We also learn that he abandoned his life’s love; a girl called Doris (played by Madisen Beaty) who regularly wrote to him when he was away at war.

Freddie goes on to assault a man who is critical of Dodd’s methods, and other members of The Cause movement become increasingly worried about Freddie’s erratic behaviour, though he retains Dodd’s support.

Pressed by Dodd’s wife Peggy (played superbly by Amy Adams) Freddie agrees to stop drinking so he can stay with The Cause, but he doesn’t keep his promise. He then criticizes Dodd’s son Val (played by Jesse Plemons) for ignoring the teachings of his father. Val counters by saying that his father is a complete fraud then the leader is arrested for practicing medicine without a licence whilst Freddie gets arrested for assaulting police officers.

We’ll leave the tale there as to tell you more would be spoil the plot and that isn’t our intention. But make no mistake – this is an unmissable movie – so when it comes to satellite TV make sure you catch it at least once, because you’ll surely want to see it over and over.

The movie was written, directed, and co-produced by Paul Thomas Anderson and won the FIPRESCI Award for Best Film at last year’s Venice Film Festival. It also received three Oscar nominations; best actor for Joaquin Phoenix, Best Supporting Actor for Philip Seymour Hoffman, and Best Supporting Actress for Amy Adams.

Catch it if you can.