Saturday, February 02, 2008

There Will Be Blood

New review from The Movie Snob

There Will Be Blood (B). To sum up my reaction to this movie, I would say that I liked it and it’s very impressive in some respects, but in the end I’m not sure what to make of it. Daniel Day-Lewis (Last of the Mohicans) plays Daniel Plainview, an oil prospector in California at the turn of the twentieth century. He is virtually a force of nature, as is established in the opening sequence showing him digging deep in a mineshaft, alone against a desolate desert backdrop. But unlike impersonal nature, Plainview has emotions — and they are almost exclusively misanthropic in character. As his singleminded pursuit of oil and wealth continues across the decades, he becomes increasingly sociopathic. He is inscrutable but consistent. Less consistent is his foil, a preacher named Eli Sunday (Paul Dano, Little Miss Sunshine). I didn’t know what to think of him, and I’m not sure the movie does either. His character didn’t quite work for me. Bottom line: See it for Day-Lewis’s performance and the excellent cinematography, but I don’t think it’s best-picture material.


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