Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master is both feverish and glacial. The vibe is chilly, but the central character is an unholy mess — and his rage saturates every frame. He's a World War II South Pacific vet named Freddie Quell, played by Joaquin Phoenix to the hilt — the hilt above the hilt. We meet him at war's end on a tropical beach where he and other soldiers seek sexual relief atop the figure of a woman made out of sand.
In an election that's supposed to be about the economy, tragic deaths overseas push foreign policy onto the political stage in the race between Mitt Romney and President Obama. While Romney seems to have lost the initial battle, questions remain about the administration's Middle East goals.
Join NPR's Ron Elving and Ken Rudin for the latest "It's All Politics" roundup.
And now, we turn to Faith Matters. That's the part of the program where we talk about matters of faith, religion and spirituality. This Sunday night marks the start of Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, and the beginning of what are known as the High Holy Days, for observance used, the most spiritually profound time of year.
I'm Michel Martin and this is TELL ME MORE from NPR News. You know that old saying, you have big shoes to fill? As the son of James Taylor and Carly Simon, Ben Taylor probably knows more about that than most. His dad was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. His mom has an Academy Award, a Golden Globe and a Grammy. Each is one of the most beloved artists of their generation, so a little pressure, maybe?
Thankfully, critics found, in his 2003 debut album, "Famous Among the Barns," a unique twist on American folk music.