There Will Be Blood

There Will Be Blood

(2008)

A sprawling epic about family, faith, power and oil, set on the incendiary frontier of California’s turn-of-the-century petroleum boom. Written and directed by P.T. Anderson (Magnolia, Boogie Nights), the story chronicles the life and times of one Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis in an Oscar-winning performance), who transforms himself into a self-made oil tycoon.... More

When Plainview gets a mysterious tip-off that there’s a little town out West with an ocean of oil under it, he heads with his son to take their chances in dust-worn Little Boston. In this hardscrabble town, where the main excitement centers around the holy roller church of charismatic preacher Eli Sunday (Paul Dano), Plainview and H.W. make their lucky strike. But with great fortune comes great greed and conflicts escalate. The lives of Plainview, H.W. and Eli become imperiled by corruption, deception and the flow of oil.Hide

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Flicks Review

About ten minutes before the end of the screening of There Will Be Blood, an elderly gentleman squeezed past and sat himself down a few seats along from me. Being too engaged in the climactic scene to suggest to him that he'd wandered into the wrong cinema, I let him be. As soon as the credits began to roll, however, he realized his faux pas and anxiously asked me what film we’d been watching. I said, "It's called There Will Be Blood". With hindsight, I should have answered: "We were watching a masterpiece of contemporary cinema sir, it’s called There Will Be Blood. It combines a breathtaking visual experience with a tight-knit character study and sets that upon the epic canvas of turn-of-the-century California. Engaging throughout, it emerges as one of the year's best and a must-see for all film lovers." And he would have been happy.

The entire work revolves around the magnificent Daniel Day-Lewis (a.k.a. method actor extraordinaire), who plays Daniel Plainview as a man who will stop at nothing in his quest for success in the oil industry. Plainview is a deeply antisocial person ("I hate most people"), refusing to trust anyone other than himself. Day-Lewis' performance is akin to a knockout roundhouse kick to the head. Nothing has stunned me more, not even Auckland’s ridiculously high movie ticket prices.

Paul Dano (the mute son from Little Miss Sunshine) is brilliantly mad as Eli Sunday, the evangelical young town preacher. He parallels the character of Plainview in several ways; Plainview is industry, Eli is religion but they are both corrupt and devious in their own indomitable way.

And at first glance it seems the film is saying something big about the twin strands of industry and religion in the early part of the Twentieth Century. On reflection, it's a more personal affair, even a character study. There's something horrific about the way Plainview pursues his goals, and the film wraps itself around him intimately, especially when he starts to strip away anything that gets between him and his intentions. Greed, it seems, is his only true friend.

Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood has been enlisted to score the movie, and he provides the most interesting and compelling of musical accompaniments. His score is quite strange, full of urgent strings and mechanical percussion. It suggests a deep unsettling horror which builds throughout.

The script is very smart, and quite economical. Granted, the film is very long and certainly has an epic feel, but it is never boring. It meanders a bit towards the end, but concludes with an insane final scene which is unexpected and yet entirely fitting, and includes one of the best final lines of dialogue that I've heard in a while. That, my friends, is the way to end a movie.

But what really sells this film is the sheer craftsmanship at work. It is beautifully shot with grand widescreen panoramas and bold camera movements. The sound design, particularly when one character experiences deafness, is brilliant. The editing is frequently surprising and inventive. There Will Be Blood is a prime example of cinema being used to its full potential, and I absolutely loved it.


The Peoples' Reviews

Average ratings from 14 ratings, 14 reviews
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Paul Thomas Anderson delivers what is quite simply a masterpiece of cinema. Breathtaking cinematography, acting, script, design and a powerhouse central performance by Daniel Day Lewis. If you loved Anderson's 'Hard Eight,' 'Boogie Nights,' and 'Magnolia' - you ain't seen nothing yet! Anderson snatches away Scorcese's crown as America's greatest living film director in a simply masterful movie. In one word? "Wow."


Found it a little boring personally


The key moments in the movie are all unassuming. For example, Plainview knows that he will have to confront a major character well before we see him act openly. We can see the undercurrent well before the fight but it is not until the end that we find out why. Likewise with his long lost brother. Everything turns on small, easily missed pivots.

That is the power of the intrusive and brutal soundtrack. It often seems to peak when not much is happening but that is because of what lies beneath... More the action or lack of it.

It's not really based on the book except as a milieu for a new version of Plainview to emerge.Hide


BY Bonux superstar

Once upon a time in the oil industry... it does not sound to good for a movie as politics does not go well with entertainment especially at the pump. But after all, the movie is pretty good, the picture is great, the solitude and dryness of the landscape add to the drama and the story is brilliantly delivered by the actors. Lewis acting is quite stunning in the lead role as a hard working achiever that the spectator probably respects at the start of the film and then little by little his... More character is consumed by greed and almost madness that makes him unpleasant but yet so familiar. It is hard to resist the temptation to draw a parallel between There Will be Blood and the power of the oil industry nowadays. As inhuman as the machine can be today, the movie reminds us how it all started in a very human sort of way. Whether it is inspired from a true story or not is unrelevant, between the war in Iraq and the price of petrol at your pump, it is not hard to be captivated by that movie.Hide


I felt like a learnt from this movie - about the passions, aesthetics and lives of turn of the century california, how oil was sought, found, and transported and how humans can be driven to self combust. Daniel Day Lewis is searing as is the film from beginning to end.
We had terrible front row seats and not many movies could carry the burden of discomfort for 238 minutes like this one could. A must-see for many reasons.


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The Press Reviews

91% of critics recommend.
Rotten Tomatoes Score. More reviews on Rotten Tomatoes

  • Uncompromising, intelligent and searing cinema. Along with The Assassination Of Jesse James... and No Country For Old Men, this is the best batch of Western-set dramas in decades. John Huston would have been proud. Full Review

  • This may be an extremely bold statement to make, but there hasn’t been such an amazing character study in film since “Citizen Kane.” I honestly can’t praise it enough. From the opening to the ghastly ending, this film will sit in the depths of your stomach for some time to come. Full Review

  • The film is above all a consummate work of art, one that transcends the historically fraught context of its making, and its pleasures are unapologetically aesthetic. It reveals, excites, disturbs, provokes, but the window it opens is to human consciousness itself. Full Review

  • This is also, and profoundly, a moviemaker's film: particularly in the sequences of work, in which blood and sweat and sweet crude mix and no one speaks, it is pure retina-searing cinema. Enthralling. Full Review

  • Truth be told - and this is a film about truth-telling, among other things - this is where Daniel Day-Lewis finds a character large enough for his enormous acting talent. Full Review

  • The thing about There Will Be Blood is you can admire its creation, its crafting and its worth... but you might not enjoy doing it. I can certainly see this film's worth - I just didn't enjoy it. Full Review

  • Boldly and magnificently strange, There Will Be Blood marks a significant departure in the work of Paul Thomas Anderson. Full Review

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