Saturday, December 22, 2007

There Will be Blood (2007, Paul Thomas Anderson)

I was talking to a friend earlier today about how 2007 has shaped up from being a weak year because of all of those less than stellar spring/summer releases and then all of a sudden become what might be the best year that this decade has given us. We talked about how it was so great that a couple of directors gave some of their best films to date while others created masterpieces. This then branched off into how this year 3 American treasures have given us what might be either one of their best films ever or their best film to date. The 3 directors that we were talking about were The Coen Bros with No Country, Tim Burton with Sweeney Todd (more on that later), and Paul Thomas Anderson with There Will be Blood.

Paul Thomas Anderson's film is one that will stand the test of time, as will the other 3 films mentioned. It is really hard to talk about what films will be considered classics in 30 years time but I will put all my money on these three films. There Will be Blood is an amazing feat in every single sense. It's an amazing accomplishment not only in terms of directing, acting, etc.. but it is also an amazing accomplishment in terms of how truly great cinema can be when all the ingredients just match up with eachother perfectly.

Starting off with an image of Daniel Day Lewis in this years best performance as Daniel Plainview in a dark hole underground picking away at rocks while a couple of violins screech, you are immediately pulled into the films atmosphere and style. What continues from this point on is an epic in every single way. For about 2 hours and 40 minutes we see the rise of not only Daniel Plainview and his oil business but also the rise of tensions between his foes and as well as the rise of a monster of epic proportions.

I wont be going into plot specifics. This film can not be summed up so easily. I will just say that it is pure perfection and greatness non stop. The last act of the film is sure to leave most people just in stunned silence. There are also a lot of select scenes which are sure to strike up some controversy and debate between people. Anderson has created a film that is so dense with so many layers of depth and symbolism that I am sure will have everyone talking as well as having many people rewatching as soon as it hits DVD.

As I have already said, everything is epic and perfect. Everyone has been raving about Daniel Day Lewis' performance so I wont gush over that. Instead, I will just cite out Paul Dano's performance. Sometimes I don't know who deserves more praise, DDL or the actor who can actually match him in terms of talent. Dano is able to do what DiCaprio was not able to achieve and he manages to hold his own against DDL and the scenes between them are without a doubt the highlights of the film. Why Dano is not getting award nominations just baffles me.

There really is not much more to say. Everything is perfect. I saw no flaws. This is one of the best films that this decade has given us.

- ****

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