Sunday, January 27, 2008

Worth Ten Bucks

There Will be Blood gets panned dismissively or praised lavishly-- inspiring extremes of opinion in the reviews I've read. The dude in the Baltimore Sun gave it a C-.

I'd give it an A. It was close to an A+, but was a bit too long, and the performances got a bit off the rails at one point. But for 98% of There Will be Blood I was mesmerized and disquieted sufficiently to forget myself and my troubles and just soak it in.

Daniel Day-Lewis? C'mon. Always awesome (though I admit I've never managed to sit through The Last of the Mohicans). And P.T. Anderson has ceased his narrative tricks and multiple viewpoints and interlacing stories and crafted a straightforward, harrowing film about scrabbling in the dirt to get rich.

I was telling my students Thursday that my grandparents were born in houses without indoor plumbing, and that my mother grew up in a house with an outhouse as well. They thought I was bullshitting them. There Will Be Blood happens only 100 years in the past, and the viewer gets a true taste of how medieval life was in much of the US at that time.


John Vondracek said...

I also didn't care for the soundtrack (I thought it told you about 5 seconds too soon how you were supposed to start feeling... kind of a cheap technique usually reserved for soap operas and prairie dogs on you tube)

but all my criticisms all add up to a hill of beans. I couldn't look away, and I couldn't stop thinking about it. and talking about it. I think it's as close to a classic as I've seem in 10 years...

everyone raves about daniel day lewis of course, but IIIIIII loved the preacher... don't forget that he was the son who didn't speak in Little Miss Sunshine!!!!!! he's one to watch...

:) jv

Nyarlathotep said...

I didn't mind the soundtrack. I felt the metallic disonnance went well with that landscape. And I recognized the preacher from his Pete Townsend nose and weird build.

Also the dude who played Plainview's henchmen was Julius Caeser in HBO's Rome.

Lewis was good, but sometimes his performance came across as gimmicky toward the end; my only criticism of the film, in fact.