There Will Be Blood Reviews
Yes - DDL is God and the cinematography and sense of place and time are uncanny but after a terrific opening hour this film just coughs and sputters.
It's a character study about greed, ambition, family, ruthlessness, and insanity. This is more art than anything. As for the plot, well, it's kinda hard to nail down exactly, but, in broad strokes, it's about a ruthless oil prospector, and the clashes he has with a local preacher as he strives to strike it rich in California during the early days of the oil industry (late 1890s-late 1920s)
In a way, this is the kind of historical period piece I go nuts for. I dig the biopic approach, and the sweeping epics about wars, etc, but for some reason, I'm more fascinated by something like this which is both a character study, but also a history lesson on the fine arts of how to go about getting oil. There's extended sequences that show in detail how this is all done, and I'm absolutely captivated by it all.
This definitely isn't a film for everyone. For one, it's quite artsy. The first 14 and a half minutes have no dialogue, and serve as a great way to establish mood, tone, atmosphere, and the lengths our lead character will go to in order to succeed. And the final 15 minutes are an absolutely riveting and gut wrenching display of some of the greatest acting, dialogue, and confrontation I've ever seen. Even after repeated viewings, I still just blown away by how it all pans out. It's like a shotgun blast to the mind, body, and soul. It's also a quite lengthy film that's fairly leisurely with the pacing. Amazingly enough though, I really don't get that antsy while watching it, as I always find something to marvel over with each viewing.
Being a Paul Thomas Anderson film, this is a sprawling and absolutely gorgeous film to look at. Robert Elswit's cinematography is unmatched, and there's some excellent long takes/tracking shots to boot. The period details, likewise, are spot on, and the era truly comes alive. Though just slightly distracting, Johnny Greenwood's score is also quite compelling and fitting, really capturing the frantic nature of what's going on.
And then there's the acting. So much has already been said about it, so I'll just leave it at this: Daniel Day-Lewis is so phenomenal I kind of hate him, Not the character, since you're supposed to, but him. I'm so jealous of him, yet I would feel sad it he didn't exist. Watching him act is a dizzying, spellbinding, and mesmerizing experience. Paul Dano, while nowhere near the level of his costar, is also quite excellent. He's got a tough job here, but he pulls it off amazingly well.
My only legitimate gripe with the film is that Paul Dano plays a dual role- that of twins Paul and Eli Sunday. Problem with it is that Paul Sunday is an important role, but he's there for one scene, then disappears. Wouldn't be so big a deal if not for the fact that Dano plays both Paul and his twin Eli, and, after Paul Sunday's one scene, he disappears with no explanation. Dano was supposed to just play Paul, and that's it, but then Anderson recast him to also play Eli, and rewrote the script accordingly. I think he should have just had him play Eli, get someone else as Paul, and then retool what happens to Paul, or maybe just explain what happens to Paul anyway, and keep Dano in the dual role.
Even though that is a problem, that's the only real issue I can come up with. This film really is a brilliant masterpiece and one of the best/my favorite films of 2007. It's even close to being my favorite PTA film, and would be if not for my love of Boogie Nights.
Bottom line, this is a must see. So go and do it.
It is a slow paced movie that takes you through a maze of mentalness, I will have to re watch as i didnt follow the character very well and i feel im missing something!
"There Will Be Greed. There Will Be Vengeance."
Let There Be Blood is one of those few movies that can be classified as perfect. It's such an amazing movie, that just explaining how good it is doesn't do it justice. It's a movie that must be seen. All the hype and great things I had heard about this movie didn't take anything away from it. I went in with astronomical expectations and somehow they were exceeded.
If you're an avid fan of film; there is nothing to complain about here. What some(dumb-asses) call slow and boring; I call patient and refreshing. From the opening 10 minutes I knew this movie was going to be amazing. So few movies and come out and say nothing for 10 minutes and still totally suck you into the start of the story. It takes a special director to do this effectively, like with Kubrick and Leone. Paul Thomas Anderson is a special director and this is a masterpiece on the grandest scale.
The music, cinematography, direction and acting in this film make for an epic experience. Enough can't be said about Daniel Day-Lewis's spectacular performance. It's my favorite performance that I've seen from him. He pulls the character of Daniel Plainview off with powerful preciseness. Prior to this movie everyone already knew he could play an amazing villain. We saw him give a stunning performance as Bill the Butcher in Gangs of New York. He tops his performance in Gangs of New York, which after watching it, I didn't think possible.
I love what Peter Travers said about this movie, "Fans of formula and sugarcoating will hate this. Screw them." I couldn't agree more.
Plainview: Did you think your song and dance and your superstition would help you, Eli? I am the Third Revelation! I am who the Lord has chosen!
THERE WILL BE BLOOD
The only thing left to do... is clap.