The Gustavian Weekly

When ambition meets faith, There Will Be Blood | The Gustavian Weekly

By Ryan McGinty Staff Writer | March 14, 2008 | Variety

Daniel Day-Lewis won an Academy Award for Best Performance by an Actor in a Leading Role for There Will Be Blood. This drama is centered around a turn-of-the-century prospector in the early days of a family business.

Day-Lewis’ performance in this crime drama is proof he is a “great actor.”

There Will Be Blood is one of those rare movie-going experiences in which I walked away in a shell-shocked trance. I remember driving home afterward with my girlfriend, neither of us saying a single word. When we got home she was the first to break the ice, asking me what I thought of it. My response, “It was a masterpiece.”

The film is directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights, Punch Drunk Love) and is loosely based on Upton Sinclair’s novel Oil! The plot finds a greedy oil- man, Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day Lewis) during turn-of-the-century America, searching for all the oil he can get his dirty hands on. He stumbles upon a small town in California that is rumored to have an ocean of oil underneath it, and begins to manipulate the townsfolk who are, for the most part, easily won over. Plainview does find opposition in the money grubbing local priest, Eli Sunday (Paul Dano), whose greed rivals that of Plainview’s.

Daniel Day Lewis’ performance in this film is further proof that he is one of, if not, the greatest actor of our time. If you want more evidence, check out Gangs of New York. His level of commitment to his characters is unmatched. Paul Dano gives the best performance of his career to date. Who knew we had such a promising young actor in the guy who played Klitz in The Girl Next Door?

The camera work also deems acclaim here. Thanks to cinematographer Robert Elswit, we are given very innovative shots. The camera movements are fluid and reminiscent of much of Kubrick’s work. The look of the film is gorgeous.

Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood provides the soundtrack for the film. The work is entirely orchestral and shows us where Radiohead’s musical genius originates. Because the first 10-15 minutes of the film are without dialogue, this soundtrack is an integral part of the movie as a whole, and Greenwood pulls it off with the perfection of an experienced composer.

There Will Be Blood is an affirmation of faith in films. It reminds us that, in an age of lackluster movie making, masterpieces can still be created.

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Ryan McGinty

4 Comments

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  1. Bill says:

    A terrific film that had the courage to tackle Christianity at its knees and call it what it is (a parasitic farce), but the soundtrack was the absolute worst part of this film. It was sparse and eccentric, which was the right call (zimmer / williams, etc. would have ruined with it with treacle), but the cues were horrible in spots (the THX theme ripoff in the opening scene, the clattering spoons that was composed for another movie in the derrick fire scene) and merely adequate in others. That’s what you get when you let famous “rockers” play with the grown up toys. Luckily for the filmmakers, even the shoddy music couldn’t sink such an otherwise incredible film.

  2. James Dome says:

    GREAT MOVIE!!!

  3. Mustafa Fikret says:

    Quite startling movie. And after almost one hundred years, the bloody march of oilmen continues. About the music, I think it was in perfect harmony with the film in the first couple of scenes, when Plainview was looking for oil, all alone. I think the film is genuine, except the final minutes, which were, IMHO, too Kubrick-like.

  4. Anna says:

    He is not just a great actor!!He is absolutely brilliant and one of the best in Hollywood!!He is very picky with his movies and that’s the reason why we haven’t seen him in many movies but every movie he made was amazing!!I love him!!