The mid-range star rating for this film is, for me, a glowing endorsement that it's worth a look. In an age where the inoffensive, forgettable or mediocre will guarantee positive reviews, something that divides opinion has got to be worth a look.
For me, The Master is an incredible film - far, far better all round than the director's previous work, There Will Be Blood. The cinematography is stunning from the first shot to the last and the acting performances are nothing short of extraordinary.
Plus, though the story doesn't necessarily have all the answers, there is no question that you'll be thinking about the meaning long after the final credits. A film that makes you think and debate - got to be a good thing.
That said, I think the overall meaning of The Master is fairly clear - and it's summed up in the final scene.
One thing is for sure - how The Master didn't end up sweeping the Oscars is an injustice. The two leads are nothing short of amazing and Joaquin Phoenix delivers a mesmerising performance. Never mind this year, it is acting worthy of an Oscar in any year in recent memory.
And that quality is (very nearly) matched by every other lead.
Sure, for some, The Master won't be to their taste, which is fine, but I found it worked brilliantly both as a film in its own right and as a work of art.