There will be blood

there-will-be-blood-posterAmerican 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

Exposition

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.

Reactions

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.

Contemplations

“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.

Judgement

“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.

Epilogue

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.

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La vie en rose

la-vie-en-rose-posterFrench language biographical movie from 2007.
Starring: Marion Cotillard, Sylvie Testud, Pascal Greggory
Director: Olivier Dahan
Writers: Isabelle Sobelman, Olivier Dahan
Bechdel test: Pass

Exposition

Édith Piaf grew up in extreme poverty in in 1920’s Paris and Normandie but ended up as one of France’s most loved singers. Sadly during her short life Édith had several sorrows that broke her heart and body.

Reactions

There were many remarkable features of “La vie en rose”, but none more so than the music. The movie used tapes of Édith Piaf where that was avaliable, and other singers such as Jil Aigrot and the young girl below; Pauline Burlet. Marion Cotillard who portrays the adult Édith lip syncs. Luckily she does it well. Well enough so that I could not tell, at least. In the mean time, enjoy the scene where we hear the young Piaf sing for the first time.

Contemplations

The audio is of course important in a movie about the life of a singer, but they do it well, and the songs are placed in the movie at good intervals and accents the story well. The songs are well integrated.

Visually the use of the stage before Piaf goes on is especially powerful and we get to feel the joy, anticipation and passion of performing. There is also other pretty and strong visuals in “La vie en rose”. Well crafted cinematography.

The story is told in several timelines intertwined and we get to see defining episodes of her life rather than a linear story from birth to death. Sometimes we are also presented with a back and forth between scenes in different timelines.  This could have been messy, but often it showed reasons for her actions and a connection between events in her life. The movie had few enough unnecessary elements and lines to handle the movements in time and space.

The star of this movie is, even more than the songs, is the acting. Marion Cotillard shows such raw emotion that I was in tears through half the movie and the Academy award was well deserved. The other actors were also a credit to their profession.

Judgement

I definitely do not regret watching this movie. It showed me love and life. This is the best movie I have watched so far in my experiment.

Epilogue

I recommend that everyone see this movie.

In addition to everything else, Édith Piaf is sometimes called the soul of Paris. In my opinion, that is most evident in this song. Enjoy.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “La vie en rose” 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.

38 movies down. 327 to go.

If you want to get “La vie en rose” 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 help“. 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.

The Bourne ultimatum

the-bourne-ultimatum_posterEnglish language action thriller from 2007
Starring: Matt Damon, Édgar Ramírez, Joan Allen
Director: Paul Greengrass
Writers: Robert Ludlum, Tony Gilroy, George Nolfi, Scott Z. Burns
Bechdel-test: Fail

Exposition

This is the third movie about Jason Bourne, and he still does not remember who he is. In search of his past he follows a series of leads towards the truth behind the program that made him an assassin, all the while being chased by the CIA.

Reactions

“The Bourne ultimatum” was an enjoyable action movie that kept me entertained the whole way.

I hadn’t seen this movie before, but I have seen the two previous movies about Jason Bourne. I also read the book that the first movie, “The Bourne identity”, was based on. Although that was a while ago. Through nicely placed exposition I was reminded enough about the story so far, even if the action started immediately. And it kept going non stop until the end. I think it would be more enjoyable to see the whole trilogy rather then just this installment though. Due to ratings however, this was the only one that made my watch list.

Contemplations

The best part of the movie, was the CIA chasing Jason Bourne and the bleak and scary image this paints of surveillance, regard for the press (or rather lack there of), and the US’s willingness to put their own interests above all else. Hopefully this image is far from the truth, but if we look at some of the leaks from the intelligence community over the last few years, this movie might be closer to reality than I find comfortable.

Acting, cinematography, audio and above all, the action scenes (witch make up a lot of the movie) was better then I often expect from a straight-up blockbuster. I see why this was one of the few action movies that have been hailed by audiences as more than just some entertainment for a few hours. It does have that little something extra.

Judgement

I would easily watch this movie again. Maybe not right away while it is still fresh in my memory, but I liked it, even though there were some minor annoyances and flaws, as there probably is in most movies. One of the better action movies I have seen.

Epilogue

I would recommend this movie to any adult, however, I suggest seeing “The Bourne identity” and “The Bourne supremacy” first, in that order. As far as I remember they were both a decent watch.

Over to you

If you’ve recently seen “The Boune ultimatum” 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.

Four movies down. 361 to go.

If you want to get “The Bourne ultimatum” from Amazon, here is a link for that. They probably have the movie many other places too. Maybe it’s already on your shelf?

Tomorrow’s movie is “The Reenactment” (Reconstituera). 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.