Starring Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Kevin J. O’Connor, Ciarn Hinds, Dillon Freasier
Written By: Paul Thomas Anderson, Upton Sinclair
Directed By: Paul Thomas Anderson
There Will Be Blood will be one of those movies you keep hearing & reading up this Awards season. Some are calling the film a masterpiece, similar to Citizen Kane and the Treasure of Sierra Madre. Others are praising Daniel Day Lewis for his outstanding performance as the oil tycoon Daniel Plainview. The movie is only in limited theaters right now, but when it expands into more theaters; be sure to check out this excellent film!
The film is inspired or loosely based on Upton Sinclair’s 1927 novel “Oil!” There Will Be Blood starts out in the late 1800’s, as you see a dirty silver miner looking for silver, gold and whatever else that will make him rich. You don’t hear anyone talk in the opening 15 minutes, as you just watch Daniel Plainview’s (Daniel Day-Lewis) operation grow from 1 person to a group of men as they discover oil. Daniel Plainview becomes quite rich and a cutthroat businessman and will do whatever it takes for him to continue to be wealthy. He’s a misanthrope and in the end, just wants to make enough money so he can be left alone. He gets a tip to drill oil in a small religious town called Little Boston. There Plainview meets his match, and encounters Eli Sunday (Paul Dano), a creepy evangelical minister who wants Daniel to fund money for his new church. They become bitter rivals instantly and the film shows what men will do to one-up each other. It also shows what wealth and power will do to a man, resulting in their downfall.
I had no intentions of seeing There Will Be Blood so soon in theaters, but I kept reading about how this movie was practically a masterpiece and Daniel Day Lewis gives a performance that will be remembered for ages. Since I loved Daniel Day-Lewis in Gangs of New York and Last of the Mohicans, I had to go see this. I was simply blown away by DDL’s performance and really hope he gets an Oscar for it because he deserves it. He makes his character so likable and you end up rooting for him, even though he’s an angry, money-loving asshole. But you still can’t help but cheer him on and laugh at the stuff he says or does. I think it’s a character we all will remember for years to come.
The direction, acting, writing, cinematography, and the score all deserve to be recognized. Besides Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano also gave a great performance as Eli Sunday. He played the character so creepy and he reminded me of a pedophile priest and one who is so brainwashed & full of shit at the same time. I practically applauded when Daniel Plainview smack the crap out of him in the mud half way through the movie. Paul Dano has come a long way since being the geeky teenager from The Girl Next Door who ends up being in a porn movie. One of the biggest & noticeable things in the movie besides Daniel Day-Lewis is the score from Radiohead’s guitarist Jonny Greenwood. As soon as the movie starts, you notice the mystic, haunting sounds of the score. Throughout the movie, you just notice the score and it fits the movie so well. I’m not sure how it will sound just on an album, but it really helped set the mood of the film. It’s almost like a Bernard Hermann score combine with the motifs from Lost (when something happens and it goes to a commercial). I was really surprised that someone from Radiohead could make a memorable score like that. I’m curious if Greenwood will continue to do scoring after this and what he will bring to the table for the next movie.
I don’t think everyone will like There Will Be Blood, because the movie is almost 3 hours and maybe the subject matter of the film isn’t appealing to everyone. I’m not sure people want to watch a cranky misanthrope manipulating people and becoming rich for 3 hours. I know I did and the payoff in the end is worth it. “I’m finished.”
Bottom Line: Go see this just for Daniel Day-Lewis’ performance. The rest of the film is excellent as well.
Favorite Scenes: The baptism scene, the ending
Running Time: 158 minutes