There Will Be Blood (15)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner06/02/2008

Five out of Five stars
Running time: 158 mins

Powerful, brilliantly directed and thoroughly gripping drama with an Oscar-nominated performance by Daniel Day-Lewis that is nothing short of sensational.

What's it all about?
Loosely based on a novel by Upton Sinclair, There Will Be Blood is directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights) and stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Daniel Plainview, a miner who decides to get into the oil business in the early 1900s. Following a tip-off, Plainview heads to central California with his son HW (Dillon Freasier) and persuades the settlers to sell him their property.

However, as Plainview strikes oil, the settlers become restless and soon Daniel is clashing with local minister Eli Sunday (Paul Dano), whose twin brother, Paul (Dano again) tipped Plainview off about the land in the first place. And Plainview's problems get worse when a mysterious stranger (Kevin O'Connor) shows up claiming to be his long-lost brother.

The Good
Daniel Day-Lewis is utterly mesmerising as Plainview, delivering a powerful performance that grabs hold of you from the moment he appears and never lets go. As a result, he leaves the supporting cast trailing in his wake, but Dano holds his own with an impressive supporting performance as Eli and Freasier is quietly impressive as HW.

Even by his own impressive standards, Paul Thomas Anderson's direction is astonishing throughout, most notably during the lengthy, dialogue-free opening and a brilliantly realised central sequence involving an oil strike and a tragic accident. The film is also beautifully shot, with superb cinematography by Robert Elswit and there's an award-winning score by Radiohead guitarist Johnny Greenwood.

The Great
Deservedly nominated for eight Oscars (including Actor, Director, Picture and Screenplay), this is quite simply Anderson's masterpiece. It's also worth noting that, unusually for a two and a half hour film, you don't regret a single second of its lengthy running time.

Worth seeing?
In short, There Will Be Blood is a superbly directed, emotionally gripping drama with an unmissable performance by Daniel Day-Lewis – if he doesn't win the Oscar, there is officially no justice. Highly recommended and one of the best films of the year.

Film Trailer

There Will Be Blood (15)
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Content updated: 14/12/2017 22:52

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