Ric’s Netflix Picks: “There Will Be Blood”

therewill

I’m an oil man. The rest are speculators.

What are you?

It’s 1898 and Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) has just decided to enter the oil drilling business. An unfortunate accident leaves one of his workers dead, and Plainview adopts the dead man’s orphaned son. Years later, he is approached by Paul Sunday (Paul Dano), a man telling him that there are untapped lands, including his father’s farm, in Little Boston, California. Once there, Plainview makes his case to the townspeople and begins to buy up land. He faces stiff resistance from Paul’s twin brother, Eli Sunday, the local pastor. Eli sees Plainview’s offer for the lowball that it is and challenges him for more. It’s not just about money as the two men butt heads on philosophical and moral grounds. Who will come out on top, and what will it all mean for the winner?

Daniel Day-Lewis puts on a major performance, which is a good thing, as a lot of the film relies on his depth of emotion.  His wide range from cunning and shrewd to remorseful to humorously maniacal is incredible. Dano puts on an equally broad performance as both Paul and Eli Sunday. His portrayal of Eli is dynamic and evolves over the course of the film. The interplay between the Day-Lewis and Dano drives the film from slow-paced beginning to its tumultuous end.

There Will Be Blood is a slow, character-driven film. Some may find it plodding and boring but it truly shines when you give it your full attention. The subtleties in the acting combines with dynamite visuals make this film just short of being a masterpiece.

Rating:

4.5 out of 5.0

If you fail to watch it, at the very least check out this scene.

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