Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Movie Review: "There Will Be Blood" (2007)

Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Year: 2018
Rating: R
Running Time: 2 hours, 38 minutes

Daniel Plainview has worked his way from the bottom to become a self-made oilman. He is willing to step on anyone who gets in his way and will go to great lengths to succeed.

"There Will Be Blood" is written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson and is based on the novel "Oil!" by Upton Sinclair, which was first published back in 1926. It stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Daniel Plainview, a self-made oilman who started working the fields himself before becoming more and more successful. He has a competitive drive that not only makes him want to succeed but to see his opponents fail in the process. He begins to butt heads with a young evangelical preacher, played by Paul Dano, whose land he buys for its oil. This becomes a different type of rivalry, one he wants to finish with the upper hand.

This movie is gorgeously made. Robert Elswit's cinematography is amazingly shot against some lovely backdrops. It is truly beautiful and earned him a well deserved Academy Award for his efforts. The costuming and sets are also stunning, and they really help bring the audience into the story to feels its authenticity. All of those things help make this movie good, but what makes it fantastic and supremely memorable is its acting. Daniel Day-Lewis is brilliant here and offers a performance that cements him as one of the greatest all-time actors in Hollywood. This is one of those performances you just know was bound to earn him an Oscar, and it absolutely did, deservedly so. We found ourselves riveted by every word that comes from his mouth and by the passion in which it is delivered. It is not just the way he delivers his lines, it's his looks and facial expressions that he makes while giving them. There is a long stretch of time at the beginning of the film with no dialogue, but we are still captivated by Day-Lewis' performance nonetheless. Another great performance comes from Paul Dano, who plays twin brothers Paul and Eli Sunday, though it is Eli who carries the main rivalry with Day-Lewis. The character of Paul spends the vast majority of the movie off-screen. Dano has some amazing moments as well, and though he didn't receive a nomination, we firmly believe he should have. His performance is wonderful. The final exchange between Eli and Daniel is one of the greatest scenes ever put to celluloid, one we quote often in our daily lives.

"There Will Be Blood" may not be a movie we watch frequently due to its lengthy runtime, but we have seen it several times now and are pulled into it more and more with each viewing. We think this film is phenomenal. It is one everyone should see before they die. Come for the acting, stay for Paul Thomas Anderson's incredible direction and Robert Elswit's cinematography.

My Rating: 10/10
BigJ's Rating: 10/10
IMDB's Rating: 8.1/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating: 91%
Do we recommend this movie: ABSOLUTELY YES!!!

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