Daniel Day-Lewis bestrides the narrow world like a colossus as Daniel Plainview, a turn-of-the-last-century prospector for gold and silver who stumbles upon oil in rural California and goes after it with the ferocity, focus, and ethical sensitivity of a f
Anderson is attempting to harness the old-fashioned American Western epic with the probing psychology and intimacy of a modern-day character study. The fact that that character happens to be so repellent is one of the film's many strokes of genius.
As an incurable romantic, I hold out hope that Anderson's flawed but phenomenal feat here marks the start of a new, mature stage in a long career. He has genius in him. So does the movie -- before its ending.
Sprawling yet cramped, There Will Be Blood may not be the best movie of the year, but it's certainly the strangest. It evokes passing comparisons to everything from Giant to Citizen Kane but it's impossible to pigeonhole.
Conjure up the maddest despot scene you can remember and you might get a sense of the seismic register of Day-Lewis's extravagant performance. Watch and marvel, though you may have to suspend your disbelief from the top of an oil derrick.
A haunting enigma that refuses to conform to any recognizable pattern, period or otherwise. I suppose you could see it as a descendent of Citizen Kane. But such comparisons aren't really fair to either film.
There Will Be Blood is anti-state of the art. It's the work of an analog filmmaker railing against an increasingly digitized world. In that sense, the movie is idiosyncratic, too: vintage visionary stuff. It's physical and tactile.
As long as money retains the power to poison men's souls, Anderson's uncompromising masterpiece will continue to resonate as a harrowing cautionary warning to a country with oil pumping through its veins, clouding its judgment and coarsening its soul.
An impressive achievement in its confident expertness in rendering the simulated realities of a bygone time and place, largely with an inspired use of regional amateur actors and extras with all the right moves and sounds.