Mar 29, 2012

There will be blood [2007]

After I saw Little Miss Sunshine last week and was pleasantly surprised by Paul Dano's performance, I decided to watch him in another movie, so this one seemed the perfect answer, as I had it on my list for a long time.

"Ladies and gentlemen", There Will Be Blood is a 2007 written&directed film by Paul Thomas Anderson, about an oilman and his trials and tribulations. Daniel Day Lewis plays Daniel Plainview, a simple, yet very smart guy who works his way into every little town with potential for oil drilling. When he reaches Little Boston, an area suggested by a young, peculiar man named Paul Sunday on a late night, both luck and trouble come his way and influence his actions, as he strives to get more oil from the ground, but also tries to keep his dignity and his son close to him.

I was impressed and excited by several aspects of this amazing movie. First of all, the performances. By now, you should know I am a sucker for character development, interesting or just plain good performances and There Will Be Blood had it, and then some. Two stand out for me and these are Daniel Day Lewis and Paul Dano. The lead man was perfect from the first shot to the very last, showing, one by one, the multiple layers of this fascinating man: his smart side, the caring side (whenever he was around children), the fighter in him or the careless, old, drunken ghost of his successful career; he won an Oscar for this part and it is deserved, indeed. As for Paul Dano, I might be biased, but I think he was absolutely amazing, being quite a revelation as the young pastor with a creepy, but very powerful presence- not only did he stand up and match Lewis' performance, but he dared to act his part in ways not most people do. There are some scenes that prove that: the first church scene, when he performs an "exorcism", the fight between the two on the field, the baptize part (DDL saying "I am a sinner" plus the first words after, supposedly, the devil left him: "There's a pipeline"), the table discussion between Eli and his father, and the most important one, the final scene in the bowling alley room- that just entered my all time favorite scenes list and I will definitely do a separate post just for it.

That leads us to the script; based on a novel by Upton Sinclair, it provides just enough dialogue, drama, action, character and story development, to keep things going and make it more interesting as things progress- solid job by Mister Anderson here, as well.

Another beautiful aspect is, of course, the cinematography. That, combined with probably one of the best musical scores I have ever heard, takes the movie to the next level. The haunting score makes up for a certain lack of dialogue, especially at the beginning or in key scenes and visually, everything is just perfect. (one scene that I remember is the gas explosion) I love Paul Thomas Anderson's style- Boogie Nights is still stuck in my head and I cannot wait to see Magnolia (yes, kill me now, I haven't seen that, either, but I will, promise).

All in all, There Will Be Blood is a fantastic movie that cannot be missed- I highly recommend it. If I will ever make a top 50 or top 100, it would be surely be there.


  1. Good review. I was pretty blown away by Paul Dano too. He was quite the rockstar preacher.
    Of course DDL's performance is one of the greatest ever.
    The film is pretty incredible, and really is a modern classic.

  2. This is such an amazing movie, completely blew me away. Without a doubt, Daniel Day-Lewis in this is one of my favorite Individual performances ever and yes, Paul Deno was overlooked, he was amazing too. Nice Review !!

  3. Yes! So glad you liked this. It's a such patient, yet explosive work of art. I rank this film very highly among my list of favorite films. Ah, I just love it.

    I'm actually not a fan of Paul Dano at all, and I thought his work in Little Miss Sunshine was... gimmicky (I didn't really like the movie either, but oh well). Anyway, my point is, his double role here is sensational, and that "get out of here, ghost," scene gives me chills everytime.

    I remember when I took my mom to see this in the theater, she let out a little: "Jesus... christ," during that scene. It's horrifying in its fanaticism. Or, like Plainview says it, "was one goddamn hell of a show."

  4. @Nikhat: I agree, a modern classic!
    @SDG: Thanks! DDL was a force of nature in this movie, a true performance!
    @Alex: That fanaticism made his performance and those scenes ten times better- it was creepy, but you can't stop feeling impressed by it!

  5. I only saw this movie once, but I definetly need to rewatch it soon. The music was indeed amazing and Dano's performance was definetly memorable.

  6. I saw the movie back in early 2008 in Atlanta. It was a sell-out screening and it was hard to find a seat. I ended up sitting in the second row at the front.

    What an experience that. The scene where the oil drill exploded is the one I remember the most. The power of that sound was intense. And here's the bad thing about sitting close the screen. Because of that explosion, I nearly lost my hearing for a bit. It was loud but still, incredible.

    My favorite thing about the film is Jonny Greenwood's score. After all, he is from THE BEST BAND IN THE WORLD!!!

  7. Good review. This was my favorite among the Best Picture nominees that year. I completely agree on Day Lewis and on Dano. I think this is Dano's best performance. I love the scene between the two of them at the end of the film. As for Day Lewis, if you haven't seen My Left Foot, I highly recommend it.

  8. @Sati: You should watch it again, especially if you don't remember too much about it (that happens to me, too)
    @Steven: The score was definitely a strong point for the movie, I agree. Oh, and seeing it on the big screen must have been incredible!
    @Chip: My left foot? I will look it up, thanks!

  9. I'm so glad you liked this Diana. The sequence where the well explodes, it rains oil and the sky is blackened by the smoke- with Plainview staring greedily into the flames - is one of my favourite scenes ever. So beautiful. It is also in my Top 10. Thematically dense, technically marvellous, and features what I think is one of the greatest performances I have ever seen. I love it!

  10. Such a brilliant film!!! After we saw it in uni (first semester too, we really lucked out!) we were walking around all week screaming 'I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE' at random intervals! Daniel Day-Lewis just blew me away! And that soundscape was just incredible. Great review!!!!

  11. I remember driving to Boston (an hour and change away) to see this when it was in limited release. I had higher expectations than it could ever reach, but I was still really impressed.

    The end gave me a weird feeling, but since I think that's the intention it worked wonderfully. This goes hand and hand with Black Swan as movies that I love, but have trouble watching again.

    On another note, Daniel Day Lewis cemented himself as one of my favorite actors ever with his performance here. It was larger than life.

  12. @Andy:That scene is marvelous! I remember him watching the flames and saying to his right hand man something like "don't you see what this means? we are standing on a sea of oil" all while everything is burning! Amazing!
    @Ruth: Thanks Ruth! I drink your milkshake? I don't remember that line from the movie....or is it just you guys having fun?
    @Max: DDL was truly fantastic in this movie, I agree, he was a force of nature! As for Black Swan, I think TWBB is much better than it, but that's just me!

  13. I gotta give this movie props. When I started watching it I was doubtful and admittedly bored. But then something happened...I couldn't stop watching it. It caught me. And I'm glad it did. What a fantastic film.

  14. @The Focused Filmographer: I agree, it starts out slow, but then it becomes a force of nature- great film!

  15. This was the movie I first saw both Daniel Day-Lewis and Paul Dano in - in fact I knew absolutely nothing about the film, my dad turned it on on the tv. I was kind of hypnotized, and loved everything about it - the meandering pace, the deep epicness of the themes and plot, the stunning cinematography and music, and above all the performances. DDL was amazing, sheer brilliance without a doubt (and frighteningly realistic) but it was Paul Dano who bowled me over (ha). He just has such an amazingly uncanny face and body, and was prepared to humiliate himself onscreen with abandon in a way that wins instant fandom from me in an actor. I also learned, he was only around twenty-two when it was filmed, and had less than FOUR DAYS to prepare his part, against DDL's year of preparation. Astonishing.

    1. Thanks for the reply, I loved your comment! And yes, I completely agree about Paul Dano, definitely a highlight for me, too!