What movie was that...?

30 December 2009

There Will Be Blood

directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

Ladies and gentleman, when I say that Paul Thomas Anderson is a true giant of the filmic craft, you will agree. Anderson has delivered some of the most intensely American (and intensely intense) films this side of the Coen Brothers, and he shows no signs of stopping. Anderson’s gut punch of a film stars the monolithic Daniel Day Lewis and the gale force talent of Paul Dano (holding his own like a champ) reacting to one another like forces of nature. Day-Lewis plays Daniel Plainview, oil mogul who gets wind of a reservoir beneath a small town and seeks to gain control. Standing in the way is Eli Sunday (Dano), preacher and kindred opportunistic spirit who wants a kingly price for such a find. To watch Dano and Day-Lewis battle one another is like watching a lightning storm in your front yard, and with only four days to prepare for such a role, Dano shows us that he is of the stuff that makes an actor immortal. While I am dispensing with much deserved recognition, I must give a proud and jubilant bravo to Dillon Freasier for his rock hard portrayal of H.W. Plainview, Daniel’s adopted son. Whatever might be said between the two characters, the love between the Plainviews is palpable and true, and the way in which Freasier holds his own when sharing screen time with Day-Lewis and Dano is nothing short of groundbreaking (especially considering he was not an actor). Johny Greenwood creates an operatic mash up that stings the senses in all the right ways, and Dylan Tichenor (there’s that damn name again) edits himself into an academy award nomination in the same year as The Asassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (for which he should also have been nominated). It’s the true horror of the American Dream in full bloom.
I’m finished now.

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