4.10.2008

There Will Be Blood

Arresting as its opening discordant notes from Jonny Greenwood's score imply, There Will Be Blood is an stunning film whose acting centerpiece, Daniel Day-Lewis, absolutely earned every bit of that Oscar.If I had to pick one overall characteristic that ultimately leads to Daniel Plainview's (Day-Lewis) undoing as a human, it would be his slowly-revealed obsession with winning, whether it is real or imaginary. And he is a 'bad winner'.

A scene that really encapsulates the picture for me is towards the end, as Plainview and his estranged deaf son are about to share a meal in a restaurant when they by chance run into a rival oil prospector who tried to buy Plainview's land years back. Plainview, frustrated by his inability to communicate with his son, and ultimately by their lack of blood-relations (his is adopted), and desperate to convince everyone else they are a tight family, and of course his need to win, openly chastises and taunts the oil prospector, who is befuddled as to why Plainview even cares anymore. The movies has many scenes like this, where there are so many different motivations going on that makes the film fascinating to watch, and enjoyable, in as much as a dark film can be revelled in. There is little question as to why the film was nominated for an Oscar.

Well, that makes three out of the five Best Picture flicks I have seen for 2007 thus far. Both Michael Clayton and No Country for Old Men were excellent; I'm suspicious that Juno and Atonement will have the chutzpah to stand with them. But, I'll let you know when I've decided the real winner. Because you need to know what I think, let's just admit that much.

2 comments:

maggiemay said...

What are you trying to say? Wanting to win is a bad thing? Whatever.

Matthew said...

Maggs: You probably shouldn't watch the movie; you will probably take it the wrong way. And by that I mean you will think PT Anderson is speaking at you. "What'd you say? You talking to me?" And then you shoot my nice new flatscreen. So, no local showings for you. We can all agree it is best.