The performances are real strong, in particular that of Phoenix, who has an animalistic quality to his Freddie Quell that is both frightening, and pitiful, as well, the 70mm cinematography is stunning, but the film makes little sense. Here's the problem with the film, too much of it is introspective, and not enough of it is clarified for the audience to even know what is truly going on. Why does Freddie see every woman naked in one scene? Sure, some introspection is great in a film, leaving certain things up to audience interpretation, but when the entirety of the film's story is open to interpretation as to why we sat through it for nearly 2 and a 1/2 hours, that's when I lose interest.
Perhaps I am not scholarly enough to understand, which is why I don't like The Master. It's a well made film that is simply there. It did nothing for me.
I give The Master an F