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Movie Review: There Will Be Blood December 26, 2007

Posted by judylobo in Movie Reviews.
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reviewblogpic1.jpgMovie Review: There Will Be Blood

Alternate Title: Of Profit, Prophets and Greed

Story: Director and writer Paul Thomas Anderson broke through to another level of brilliance with his amazing new film. The late and great director Robert Altman knew what he was doing when he handpicked PT Anderson to be by his side during the shooting of his last film, A Prairie Home Companion. This artistic young man has a wonderful career ahead of him and I can’t wait to see the future products he delivers to the big screen.

I liked everything about this film and I can’t get it out of my head. The story is loosely based on the novel ‘Oil‘ by Upton Sinclair. Anderson brilliantly introduces us to the main character, Daniel Plainview as he toils alone in 1898, to find oil. For a full 15 minutes there is not a word of dialogue but in those 15 minutes we totally understand the nature of this protagonist. I was hooked.

Fast forward four years and we find Plainview selling the American dream of riches to an unsuspecting farmer mentality. How he works his magic, sells his ideas and meets a young religious prophet is the heart of the tale. Parallel stories collide as the worlds of capitalism, religious fervor and the dream of riches cross paths. Greed, it turns out – is not so good. Hang on to your hats, it is going to be a bumpy ride.

There is much to this story that unfolds over 30 years including the fascinating relationship between Plainview and his son and Plainview’s relationship with the rest of humanity. What drives this man to do the horrific things he does is great cinema. You will not meet a character like this one for a very long time.

This is both exhilarating and exhausting and is my choice for the best film of 2007 – hands down.

Acting: Daniel Day Lewis gives the performance of a lifetime. He is always spectacular, but this time – he leaves you breathless. He is in almost every scene and he will knock your socks off with this tour de force performance. Bravo! Paul Dano (Little Miss Sunshine), as the young preacher holds his own with the master. Good for him! Dillon Freasier as the son is quite remarkable. The rest of the ensemble cast is great too.

Predilection: I like PT Anderson and am always a fan of Daniel Day Lewis.
Critters: Goats, horses and other livestock.
Food: Steak, milk and lots of whiskey
Sex Spectrum: No sex – too busy preachin’ or profitin’
Soundtrack: The soundtrack is astounding. The genius of composer Johnny Greenwood of ‘Radiohead’ was perfect. The dissonance and edginess of the notes moved the movie forward when there was no dialogue. Terrific!
Opening Titles: The vast desolate landscape revealed prior to the title in white letters over black background.
Visual Art: The cinematography was a major part of the film by Robert Elswit and designed by Jack Fisk.

Theater Audience: It was an advanced screening and it was packed.
Sappy Factor: 0
Quirky Meter: 0
Squirm Scale: 0
Drift Factor: I did not drift for a nanosecond.
Predictability Level: I was not sure what was going to happen.
Tissue Usage: 0
Oscar Worthy: Oh my, yes!
Big Screen or Rental: The bigger the screen the better. For PT Andersons other films, try renting, Boogie Nights, Magnolia and Punch Drunk Love.
Length: Two hours and 38 minutes. I know, I know – it is way over the two hour rule but I forgive.

LOBO HOWLS: 9.5

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