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There Will Be Blood

Director(s): Paul Thomas Anderson

Theatrical Release: 2007

Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Kevin J. O'Connor, Ciaran Hinds, Dillon Freasier, Sydney McCallister

Genre(s): Drama, business, period piece, psychological, Dean's List

Countries: USA


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Ant Rating
7.5
MyRating
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Running Time: 158m.

Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson steps outside his contemporary world of dysfunctional Angelenos to explore a very different dysfunctional man -- an oil pioneer whose trailblazing spirit is equaled only by his murderous ambition. There Will Be Blood is Anderson's loose adaptation of the novel Oil! by Upton Sinclair, and it focuses its attentions on Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), a failed silver miner who happens upon black gold during a disastrous excavation that ends in a broken leg. Pulling himself up from the bowels of the earth, both literally and metaphorically, Plainview embarks on a systematic and steadfast approach to mastering the oil business. Using plain-spoken and straightforward language, and accompanied by his young son, H.W. (Dillon Freasier), Plainview launches a campaign to convince small-town property owners they should let him drill their land. Without him, they won't have the equipment to access the profit beneath their feet. He builds an empire this way -- and gradually becomes obsessed with the intrinsic value of power, growing increasingly irascible and paranoid in the process. Plainview meets his match in Eli Sunday (Paul Dano), a teenage preacher in the small California town of Little Boston, whose brother tipped Plainview off to the town's plentiful supply of untapped oil. To fully reap the benefits of the land, Plainview must suffer the opposing whims of this "prophet," whose legitimacy is questionable at best. And it's unclear either man is prepared to pay the humiliating price the other wants to exact. There Will Be Blood features an anachronistic percussive soundtrack by Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood, and it was shot in the same town where the James Dean epic Giant was filmed. (allmovie.com)

Member Reviews


8
A Baby in a Milkshake by verclear - May 21, 2008
A Classic from Ghoulardi's son... this film makes up in cult comedic cleverness what it lacks in plot, consistency, and period perspicacity. Stand-out performances by Paul Dano, the great Ciaran Hinds (fresh off HBO's "Rome" where he played an austere Caesar!)and the ever-eclectic Daniel Day-Lewis, as well as Kevin J. O'Connor (who I'm always confusing with the elder Tom Noonan) serve up a rather drawn-out 158 min. archetype of the American West. The all-classical soundtrack keeps you either anticipatory or annoyed as it seems to have been derived as the players sat and watched the film and at a certain point (upon mutual agreement) picked up their instruments and played along (often to the consistent exasperation of the audience). All in all, a classic that you either condone or despise, but upon whose opinion of that might change upon repeated viewings.

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