Usually, when I disagree with the mainstream critics, it's because I have found a gold mine they have overlooked; Paul Thomas Anderson's two-and-a-half-hour drama The Master has received fabulous reviews; I do understand the praise for the acting, however, it seems everything in the plot is meant as an exercise for the actors, and naught else. What point there is seems to never exceed that everyone has appetites and we can curb them a little, but not extinguish them. Okay,... in other words, The Master seems to be masterful only at contriving situations to rack up Oscar nominations.
And that's about it.
There is such a notion as Art For Art's Sake which posits that art is not bound to serve any purpose, it exists merely for the sake of being beautiful, bound in no way to serve politics, religion or any agenda but beauty (Edgar Allan Poe and Oscar Wilde strongly believed in this). I can adhere to this ideal completely, but it begs the question, "What is beauty?" and "How does one communicate beauty?" which beings us to the question of the role of the artist and issues of "quality." (I'm really sticking my foot in it today, aren't I?).
Eat Your Art Out,
The Fine Art Diner