There Will Be Blood

I’m not really sure how to write a review for There Will Be Blood. I had a really good time watching it, admiring the writing, the structure, the images, the pace, the performances, and more. But I have found it very difficult to put words to why I thought it was so good. Perhaps it’s simply because the director is Paul Thomas Anderson, whose films I have universally liked (though I still haven’t seen Hard Eight).

The main characters are Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), a self-made oil man, and Eli Sunday (Paul Dano), the evangelical preacher son of the owner of some land that Plainview wants to drill on. That may already be saying too much, so I won’t describe more about the plot.

The most likely award that the film will get at the Oscar® ceremony, out of its eight nominations, is a best actor trophy for Day-Lewis. Is he over the top? Yes. But he totally sells it, and I would not be disappointed to see him win (though sadly his is the only one of the five nominated performances I have seen to date).

Perhaps I’ll sum it up this way: You may have seen advertisements for the film where Day-Lewis utters the line, “I drink your milkshake! I drink it up!” That seemed ridiculous before I saw the film. It’s still funny, but it worked for me 100% in context.

I’ll give it an uncertain 4 stars out of 4 stars.

Seen 2/4/2008.


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