The Oxford English Dictionary defines a 'cult' as "a system of religious veneration and devotion directed towards a particular figure or object." Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master artfully paints a picture of the way these systems are created and maintained by preying on the weak minded. For such a cerebral film, Anderson once again called on Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood to provide the unnerving score.

The Master is a fictionalisation of the story of Scientology with Philip Seymour Hoffman giving a typically mind-blowing performance as Lancaster Dodd (read: L. Ron Hubbard). Joaquin Phoenix, in his first role since I'm Still Here, plays WWII veteran and lost soul Freddie Quell. The electricity between the two lead actors gives the film an incredibly powerful axis upon which the storyline, music and visuals build an astonishingly real portrait of life behind the closed doors of a cult.

Like his film debut There Will Be Blood, Jonny Greenwood relies heavily on unsettling string arrangements in The Master. Unlike his debut, there lies a warmer centre to his compositions. Although Dodd and Quell are ego-maniacs like TWBB's Daniel Plainview, they at least have some humanity in their hearts. This layering of human emotion can be heard on the melancholic 'Overtones'.

As 'Overtones' begins with spiky strings and smooths into softer tones, 'Baton Sparks' works in the opposite direction with strings manipulated to sound like a hail of falling bombs as the song reaches its disorientating and disturbing climax. These compositions reflect the fractured mental states of the two lead characters: Dodd manages to calm his anger at the root whereas Quell builds and builds into an uncontrollable fury.

Along with the string compositions, Greenwood makes use of '40s and '50s big-band, jazz and swing songs to complement the soundtrack. Female voices decorate The Master, Jo Stafford's 'No Other Love' and Ella Fitzgerald's cover of 'Get Thee Behind Me Satan' sound like hymns as their voice float along in a film where everything is calm on the surface and a raging whirlpool below.

There is an incredible amount of finesse in the soundtrack to The Master. It's also very apt that for a film about a cult, a director and a musician who inspire cult-like groups of fans should work together so fruitfully once again.