Sunday, October 17, 2010

Best of the Decade #11: There Will Be Blood (2007)

A challenging and unsettling portrait of greed, cynicism, religion, and money, There Will Be Blood is one of the most uncompromising and unforgettable pieces of high art of the decade. Unlike his previous hits Boogie Nights and Punch Drunk Love, writer/director/producer Paul Thomas Anderson did not set out to make this an accessible film. It does demand the attention and patience of its audience, and upon first viewing, it does not even seem to pay off. But the more this film festers in one's mind the more striking its impact becomes.

Much of the credit for this lasting impression goes to Daniel Day Lewis, who offers up the performance of the decade as Daniel Plainview, a ruthless oil prospector who's insatiable lust for wealth and desire to obliterate all competition drives him to absolute madness. And yet his performance is in no way predictable, often going places we neither expect nor want it to go. It is a courageous turn from a courageous actor. One for the ages.

Thanks to Anderson's meticulous direction, this arthouse film as the look of a glossy studio blockbuster, boasting gorgeous photography from Bob Elswitt, impeccable production design from Jack Fisk, and completely unique musical score from Johnny Greenwood.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

One of the very best of the year, and yes, Day-Lewis is nothing short of spectacular.

On a side note, I don't think I'll ever for the Academy for disqualifying Greenwood's score.