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December 05, 2007

There Will Be Blood

Therewillbeblood Paul Thomas Anderson has grown immensely as a writer/director since his last feature film ("Punch Drunk Love"), so much so that in a single film he has become America’s most visionary and accomplished auteur. Anderson based "There Will Be Blood" on the first 150 pages of Upton Sinclair’s lesser known novel "Oil!," about a turn-of-the-century silver miner named Daniel Plainview (exquisitely played by Daniel Day-Lewis) who turns oilman after being approached by a young preacher about purchasing his family’s oil-rich land. Paul Dano ("Little Miss Sunshine") plays evangelist Eli Sunday, a man with Plainview’s greedy heart but not his iron stomach for exacting the pounds of flesh that comes with such desire. Embedded in Anderson’s profound adaptation are timeless themes of greed and social oppression that reflect injustices facing America today. Composer Jonny Greenwood (of the band Radiohead) creates the film’s fiercely original musical score that expands the scope of the story with unusual sounds that tweak with emotion and experience. Cinematographer Robert Elswit ("Michael Clayton") captures the vast scope of raw nature reduced in scale by men. Moments of homage to "The Treasure of the Sierra Madre" are evident in this miraculous picture that is simultaneously an art film and a mainstream masterpiece.

Rated R. 158 mins. (A+) (Five Stars)


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