There Will Be Blood is a 2007 film directed by Paul Thomas Anderson. I have also never seen it. On anyone’s list of the greatest directors, Anderson will almost always be on that list. He is a name that I have heard so many times when talking about great films, but I’ve only seen a couple of them.
Seeing this movie on Netflix instant streaming, I realized I couldn’t stand myself if I went any longer without seeing it, along with the other quintessential PTA films I have yet to see. I have watched Boogie Nights and last year’s Inherent Vice, now it is time to watch There Will Be Blood.
Like the rest of the movies I do this with, I have no idea what There Will Be Blood is about. I know who it is directed by and that it stars Daniel Day-Lewis. I can not tell you one thing about the plot. I am familiar with the poster featuring Day-Lewis so I will just have to infer from that. There is a large explosion in the background so perhaps he plays a villainous role. He’ll probably be crazy like he was in Gangs Of New York, and also give an astonishing performance because he is Daniel Day-Lewis.
From here, I will leave, watch There Will Be Blood, and add my thoughts to this post after having seen the film.
Drainage! Drainage! Drainage! I hope Daniel Plainview never drinks from my milkshake. There Will Be Blood scared, but astounded me, from its poignant scenes to the thrilling performance of Daniel Day-Lewis. I don’t even know where to begin with this Anderson epic. I suppose the beginning is a valid place to start.
The film begins with essentially no dialogue for a portion of time as we see Daniel Plainview (Day-Lewis) working at the bottom of an oil well. Through the first half hour, and a series of magnificent looking shots, we come to see Plainview as a successful businessman in the oil industry. His first real dialogue comes in a public meeting where he simply explains his business. He finally hits the jackpot on a piece of land with oil and begins his reign that he will ride to the end of the film. There is some Citizen Kane here as well.
This movie looked absolutely incredible. The cinematography by Robert Elswit is nothing short of magnificent. There were scenes of awe and amazement, including ones of the wells amongst the vast fields surrounding them. The one scene shown on the cover with the well exploding, and Plainview in the foreground is probably one of the most evocative and beautifully crafted shots I have ever seen. The stark images created by Anderson and Elswit, slow tracking shots throughout, and a piercing score create an atmosphere that you can’t look away from.
I can’t believe I didn’t know anything about this movie before. I recognized the title, but had no clue what it was going to be about. It seems to have been overshadowed by the best picture winning No Country For Old Men, an equally great film. I remember that when it came out, but There Will Be Blood was nowhere on my radar. They were filmed in the same parts of Texas, each looking flawless. I’m glad that I could see this movie with a fresh perspective, however, because it was truly a unexpected, astonishing experience.
Day-Lewis won his second of now three Oscars for this role, and deservedly so. He became Daniel Plainview, although the name does not fit at all. He was anything but plain. This character was taken to extreme depths, maybe a little too much for his own good. Day-Lewis is renowned for completely immersing himself into his roles, and that it’s undeniably true as Plainview. His voice resonates boldly and demands attention. Research tells me it closely resembles that of John Huston. Just like PTA, I haven’t seen a lot of Day-Lewis performances. So there’s more movie homework for me. Best homework ever.
I didn’t love Inherent Vice. It was too confusing and complicated, but there was a clear visual style that kept me entertained, even though I had no idea what was going on. I probably saw Boogie Nights too young. I’ll be honest, I only saw it because a certain actress was in it. I still enjoyed it, but recognize I need to revisit it. But before I do that, There Will Be Blood is currently my favorite PTA film. Now the next thing I need to see of his is Magnolia, and the rest of them, of course.