There will be Blood

Firstly let me say that this is a good film but despite that I was disappointed because it didn’t feel like a Paul Thomas Anderson film. The only trace of the visionary director of such films as ‘Boogie Nights’ and ‘Magnolia’ comes right at the end of this movie, otherwise it plays quite straight. Don’t get me wrong it has the stunning Oscar worthy performance of Daniel Day Lewis as Daniel Plainview, I haven’t seen an actor perform with such intensity for a long time and you do get the sense he lived the part. It also has the unusual but brilliant soundtrack from Radiohead’s Johnny Greenwood, the story based on the Upton Sinclair novel ‘Oil’ is strong and the cinematography is both breathtaking and stylised. But somehow something just doesn’t seem right, told over the course of twenty five or so years the only thing that seems to differentiate the decades is Daniels facial hair which starts as a Grizzly Adams and ends up Magnum P.I. and because his acting is so good the supporting cast don’t really get a look in. There are shots that would make excellent stills, faces covered in oil lit only by a burning tower or Plainview sat in his chair smoking a pipe as the sun sets behind him but at over two and a half hours it dragged in places and yet it felt like, especially with the time jumps, that there was a lot more we weren’t seeing. I wouldn’t say I disliked this film some of it is brilliant like a drunken Plainview dribbling and bursting into a semi-controlled rage but I wouldn’t go over the top like most critics have and I’m surprised it has won so many awards, thirty three and counting, because its good but its not the best film this year or the best Anderson has done. I feel strange going against the grain but I have to be objective and unfortunately this film just didn’t live up to the hype.

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