Thursday, January 10, 2008

"I have a competition in me. . ."

There Will Be Blood
I do not yet know how to talk about this film. Here is a movie so grand in scope, so far-reaching in ambition, so stunningly filmed, but I do not know what to say. I saw There Will Be Blood two nights ago, and I knew that I would need a couple of days to process it, but now after a couple of days, I am still processing it.

Here is what I do know:
  • Daniel Day-Lewis astounds. I thought that his performance as Bill the Butcher in Gangs of New York was one of the best performances in all of film, and his portrayal here of Daniel Plainview may be better. He truly gripped me. And then tore me apart a little. And then ground me into the sand. This is acting at its pinnacle.
  • Paul Thomas Anderson has gone out on a limb to truly break away from his zone (and that zone contains some of the best films of the past 15 years), and his ambition, his vision, and his powerfully adept eye must be recognized.
  • Jonny Greenwood (of Radiohead) has crafted a truly bizarre, truly lovely, and somewhat frightening score that jolts the viewer and contributes to the unease caused by watching this film.

There Will Be Blood is a challenge. It is an uncomfortable experience. It is jarring and fascinating.

And I think--I think--it might be a masterpiece. But I am not sure, because I do not yet know how to talk about this film.


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