#173 / 365 – ‘There Will Be Blood’ (2007) – 158 mins
IMDb Challenge #102 / 250 – Ranked #146 – Via DVD Collection
Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) is a silver prospector-turned-oil man, working his way from a single-man dig to mini-mogul status. On a tip from Paul Sunday (Paul Dano), he travels to a small town in search of black gold, with his adoptive son H. W. (Freasier) in tow. But there, Eli Sunday (Paul Dano), Paul’s twin, throws roadblocks in his path.
The first ten minutes of “There Will Be Blood” is dialogue free, and there’s no need for any. Over first notes of Johnny Greenwood’s (Radiohead) exceptional and pulsating score, Daniel Plainview swings a pickaxe deep underground, chipping away at a thin strands of gold. This perfectly sets the tone in Paul Thomas Anderson’s blistering character study of one mans life which is moulded by power, greed, insanity, religion and fear in the late 19th century oil industry.
Daniel Day-Lewis tour-de-force Oscar-winning performance is naturally There Will Be Blood strongest element. He’s almost in every scene and swallows up the fantastic dialogue where not a single word is wasted with intense focus in his mannerisms, which are irreplaceable. You quite simply can’t take your eyes off of him until the final scene – “And my straw reaches acroooooooss the room, and starts to drink your milkshake… I… drink… your… milkshake”. If I have one minor criticism it’s that Day-Lewis’s performance here, does slighty overshadow the story at times.
The films other Oscar winner is the breath-taking cinematography from Robert Elswit, which is simplicity in its sense of scale of the West. Anderson’s There Will Be Blood lost out to the Coen brothers ‘No Country For Old Men’ in the Best Picture and Best Director stakes in a year when these two masterpieces combined to represent two of the very finest examples of modern filmmaking.