Thursday, February 21, 2008

There Will Be Blood

Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) is working a few wells in the Coyote Hills when he gets an unexpected visit from a young man named Paul Sunday(Paul Dano). Paul tells the story of how the oil is so abundant in his small town that it is leaking onto the surface soil. Daniel quickly grabs his son H.W.(Dillon Freasier and goes to investigate the claim.

Plainview finds what he has dreamed of... oil in close proximity to water so he can avoid the transportation charges that shipping by train takes up. Quickly, he buys up all the ground he can after convincing the community he wants to help all of their lives with this discovery. Paul's twin brother Eli (also played by Paul Dano) makes it perfectly clear that the key to the people in the town is through his church. Plainview finds the church to be only a distraction to his employees and wants nothing to do with it personally.

Eli wants to do a blessing for the opening of the first well, but Plainview snubs him. This seems the key moment for the rest of the film. When it is all said and done, you will look back at this as the start to the main theme of the film: greed.

All of the acting is top notch and it would be hard to believe that anyone other than Daniel Day-Lewis taking home the Best Actor on Sunday. His performances always are meticulously crafted with an attention to every little detail. Something also has to be said about the cinematography of There Will Be Blood. DOP Robert Elswit does a remarkable job framing each shot while editor Richard Tichoner does wonders putting the sequences together. None of the shots are flashy just extraordinarily captured. Elswit and Tichoner should be set to pick up Oscars as well.

P.T. Anderson has crafted a third great film alongside his debut of Hard Eight and his masterpiece Boogie Nights. Anderson seems to be back on track after the uneven, but inspired Magnolia and the mess of Punch Drunk Love. It is obvious that this filmmaker is going to have a long, brilliant career ahead of him.

90/100 - this could change in time.

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