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There Will Be Blood Review

GATW Guest Writer

by: GATW Guest Writer
January 16th, 2008

2007 has been a great year for movies. This cinematically remarkable year is due largely to the fact that this has been such a great year for directors. Many of the most talented and respected directors in Hollywood have turned in superb entries this year, including Tim Burton’s Sweeny Todd, David Cronenberg’s Eastern Promises, and Sidney Lumet’s Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead. I could go on, trust me. Given the success many great directors have had this year, it is only fitting to conclude the year with P.T Anderson’s oil epic There Will Be Blood.

P.T Anderson is a director’s director. Carefully working on his scripts and productions no matter how long it takes. Always willing to go with the bizarre, brutal, or depressing to complete his vision. No tool is ever neglected. The shots are always perfect and introspective; the music moving and intricate. Critically, P.T. Anderson has never made a bad movie with four critical darlings to his name. Is There Will Be Blood at the same quality level as the rest of P.T’s films? Does P.T keep pace with his fellow directors in this fantastic year? The answer is a bold and resounding yes.

There Will Be Blood takes place in the early 1900s. Daniel Day Lewis is Daniel Plainview, a man whose greed and necessity to succeed drives him to make oil his life. The film follows Daniel from his ambitious beginnings to his hollow success, having sacrificed his humanity for his oil dreams.

One could gush over Daniel Day Lewis’ perfect performance. Mr. Lewis is nothing short of mesmerizing, exuding the power and misspent energy that one would expect of a man capable of greatness whose insecurities and desires have caused him to sell his soul. Daniel Day Lewis does not take on many projects, but when he does decide to make a film, his performances are usually spectacular, and Daniel Plainview is no exception.

The film contains the quality production values that are usually associated with the films of P.T. Anderson. Boasting a purposely-unnerving score by Radiohead’s guitarist Jonny Greenwood. The film’s shots are often long, centering on a subject or a character for a peculiarly long time and giving a brooding sense of things to come. These style techniques help to make the film’s most important events more unforgettable. Including the scene where Daniel strikes oil and his son loses his hearing. The foreboding site of the oil well burning bright into the night will be ingrained in audience’s mind for many years.

There Will Be Blood poignantly examines greed and early nineteen hundreds America, and the relationship between the two. The final act chronicles Daniel’s demise, which takes place around the start of the Great Depression. Like America’s golden days, Daniel is “finished”.

I would happily bet my future children’s love on whether or not There Will Be Blood takes home at least one major Oscar at this year’s ceremonies. I’m supremely confident that either Daniel Day Lewis will win for his terrifyingly great portrayal of Daniel Plainview or P.T. will take home his first Oscar, if not both. With the breathtaking and very American epic There will be Blood, P.T Anderson does not only keep par with his directing brethren, but he calmly picks up his ball and walks it fifty feet past his closest competitor and places it confidently on the ground.

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  • http://sarahnelson.tumblr.com/ sarah

    i agree 102% with this review…but feel that it is lacking some crucial elements. the supporting cast– amazing! hw + eli both brought so much strength to this film i feel it is remiss to mention them.

    also…the typography (particularly in the closing credits) is gorgeous.

    ‘there will be blood’ is a strong, bold statement on competition and greed and how the things that drive us to excel can also destroy us.

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