STARRING: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Kevin J. O’Connor, Ciarán Hinds, Dillon Freasier, Russell Harvard, Sydney McCallister, Colleen Foy, David Willis, Hans Howes, Paul F. Tompkins, Jim Downey and David Warshofsky
EARNED (Worldwide): $76.1m
AWARDS: 2 Oscars (Best Actor and Best Cinematography), 1 Golden Globe (Best Actor) and 1 BAFTA (Best Actor)
A story of family, religion, hatred, oil and madness, focusing on a turn-of-the-century prospector in the early days of the business.
There Will Be Blood follows the rise of Daniel Plainview, a lone wolf and ruthless oil prospector, driven to succeed by his intense hatred of others, moving his operation to California when he learns that the oil-rich land there can be bought cheaply. When Daniel arrives on the land, he comes up against local preacher and self-proclaimed faith healer Eli Sunday, causing the two competitive men to clash.
There Will Be Blood is a film that leaves an everlasting impression which some people take differently from it. A film with some truly stunning cinematography that creates an interesting story within the first twenty minutes, entirely without dialogue, giving us a brief look at Plainview’s efforts for oil and his rise from being a lone prospector to oil mogul. As soon as the dialogue starts, we witness how charismatic he is and also his gritty determination and greed and we question has his lust for greed corrupt him or has he always been just a sociopath that hated the world and everyone in it? Daniel in the course of the film adopts a dead workers and calls him H. W. Plainview, is it because he has a moral compass or is it to use the boy for his own advantages? There’s a lot of questions here that never spell out the answer but paint a pretty clear picture as to where the answers fall. For the films precise and excellent direction from Paul Thomas Anderson, you need a performance to be remembered to keep you engaged about this Daniel Plainview character and Daniel Day-Lewis transforms into this behemoth of greed and inner rage, earning his Best Actor awards that year. The only other actor that has an arc to rival Day-Lewis is Paul Dano as Eli Sunday, the preacher that is also corrupt, just not as much as Daniel is. It’s a visually stunning backdrop of a film as we witness the collision of two corrupt egos clash and will leave you exhausted by the films end.
FAVOURITE SCENE: Daniel Plainview goes to Eli’s church to repent his sins, thus confirming he’s a bad father at his baptism. The scene played out by Paul Dano and particularly Daniel Day-Lewis is worth a watch.
FAVOURITE QUOTE: ‘Drainage! Drainage, Eli, you boy. Drained dry. I’m so sorry. Here, if you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and I have a straw. There it is, that’s a straw, you see? Watch it. Now, my straw reaches acroooooooss the room and starts to drink your milkshake. I… drink… your… milkshake! I drink it up!’ – Daniel Plainview
DID YOU KNOW?: While on location in Marfa, Texas, No Country for Old Men (2007) was the neighboring film production. One day, Paul Thomas Anderson and his crew tested the pyrotechnical effects of the oil derrick fire, causing an enormous billowing of smoke, intruding the shot that Joel Coen and Ethan Coen were shooting. This caused them to delay filming until the next day when the smoke dissipated. Both this film and No Country for Old Men (2007) would eventually become the leading contenders at the Academy Awards a year and a half later.