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There Will Be Blood (2007)

Director:
Paul Thomas Anderson
COUNTRY
USA
GENRE
Drama
NORWEGIAN TITLE
There Will Be Blood
RUNNING TIME
158 minutes
Producer:
Paul Thomas Anderson
Daniel Lupi
JoAnne Sellar
Screenwriter (based on the novel by Upton Sinclair):
Paul Thomas Anderson


Cast includes:

CHARACTER ACTOR/ACTRESS RATING
Daniel Plainview Daniel Day-Lewis
Paul Sunday/Eli Sunday Paul Dano ˝
Henry Brands Kevin J. O'Connor ˝
Young H.W. Plainview Dillon Freasier
Fletcher Hamilton Ciarán Hinds
H. B. Ailman Barry Del Sherman
Adult Mary Sunday Colleen Foy
Prescott Paul F. Tompkins
Abel Sunday David Willis
Elizabeth Hope Elizabeth Reeves

 

Review

Paul Thomas Anderson's dense and comprehensive film about the cynical, misanthropic oil magnate Daniel Plainview in the late 19th century is a massive, impressive and unapproachable epic. The technical aspects of both writing and filmmaking take us vividly and immediately back to a time and place with completely different ethics and maxims. This is where There Will Be Blood is at its strongest, propelled by Daniel Day-Lewis' incredibly detailed and emcompassing performance. There is a remarkable moment early on when Plainview and his son arrives at the Sunday ranch. In a matter of seconds, Anderson is able to portray the essence in what is different between the 1890s and present day and how Plainview represents the impetus of this change.

There are subtle observations scattered all through There Will Be Blood. But as Plainview grows more and more unwieldy and cold, the human aspect of Anderson's story diminshes. He cannot seem to fill the void left by Day-Lewis' enormous performance. Instead, the filmmaker falls into the trap of basing too much of his film around the Irishman's presence - not letting the other elements in his film breathe. In order to make the picture more potent, Anderson adheres to extremities, which in some cases - like with the Paul Dano character - becomes counter-productive. The final scene works more like a joke than as effective, poignant drama as Dano falls flat alongside Day-Lewis' oversized character and Anderson's iconoclastic frames.

Copyright © 13.5.2008 Fredrik Gunerius Fevang

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