Technically brilliant but narratively slight, this will not be everyone's cup of tea (I certainly prefer his narratively stronger Magnolia or There Will Be Blood). Breaking down the elements: the cinematography is awe-inspiringly beautiful - every scene is a tableau and the colours pop; the music is effective in drawing you in while unsettling you at the same time; and the direction is (pun-intended) masterly. Then we have the acting: Hoffman underplays an enigmatic character and his portrayal is nuanced and awards-worthy. I also like Adams' character who is quietly menacing in the background. But I am constantly distracted (or is it disturbed) by Phoenix's Freddie who speaks like he had a stroke on half his face and his demeanour seems odd and almost demonic: is he a man reduced to a husk of a shell by the War? Or does he just have anger issues? Which brings us neatly to the writing: I get it - Freddie is lost and aimless - and perhaps the Cause in this case helped him whether or not the whole thing was a sham or not. The script refuses to judge and this ambiguity seeps throughout the film making it a whole lot less accessible to its audience. It is no doubt original and uncompromising but you cant help scratching your head and ask as one venture bleary eyed after 2 1/4hrs: WTFJH?