American historical drama from 2007.
Starring: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Ciarán Hinds
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Writers: Upton Sinclair, Paul Thomas Anderson
Bechdel test: Fail
Daniel Plainview starts an oil company around the year 1900 and will do most anything to secure drilling rights where he believes there is a good find. His son, HW Plainview, goes with his father on all these adventures.
This is a drama about one man’s relationship to his family and other people around him. It seemed to me that this man needed to be in control of these relationships and he had difficulties with trusting pretty much anyone.
We follow Daniel Plainview from his first wells to larger finds where he wants to also build pipelines for transporting the oil, and further in his oil adventures. When he does not get the respect, deference and deals he desires, he is uncompromising. It reads to me as machismo, and as such, not very interesting.
“There will be blood” is a movie of substantial quality; the footage is amazing and shows of both landscape and the good acting beautifully. The sound and music underscores the story with it’s sometimes loud and sometimes very subtle little sounds. This duality also reflects the acting, which is sometimes large and clear, while other times more quiet and reflective.
The actors are brilliant, and the two main Plainviews; Daniel and HW have a very physical closeness that is common for many fathers and sons in real life, but is more rare in movies. How close the two seem is important in the movie, and all the work the actors has put in to that is clear. There are also many other examples of great choices in the acting.
Sadly, where this movie falls a little short for me, is the story. It is to some extent interesting to see the growth of an oil company during this pioneering time in that industry, but that part of the story becomes more of a backdrop to the personal drama of the Plainviews. And that is much less interesting. If not for that choice in focus for the story, this movie would have gotten full marks from me.
“There will be blood” is entertaining for an evening but no more then that. The pigheaded decisions of Daniel Plainview is difficult to empathize with and from fairly early in the movie, I cared little about what happened to the characters.
I don’t think I will recommend this movie to anyone, but it is very well crafted and maybe some people will enjoy that aspect of the movie enough to spend an evening taking a peek at “There will be blood”.
Over to you
If you’ve recently seen “There will be blood” or you’re watching along with my year of movies, please leave a comment below with your thoughts on the movie or note down your opinion somewhere else.
42 movies down. 323 to go.
If you want to get “There will be blood” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s on a streaming service you subscribe to already?
Tomorrow’s movie is “The princess bride“. Get some more information about this movie and the other movies on my watch list this week on the upcoming movies page. If you’re new to this site and are wondering why I’m watching a movie every day for a year, read more about my experiment.
Until next time; live long and prosper.