Friday, December 28, 2007

There Will Be Blood (and Sweat and Tears)

Paul Thomas Anderson's films always inevitably devolve into a cinematographic game of "name that director." And There Will Be Blood, his latest film based on an Upton Sinclair novel [Oil] about an oilman's obsessive, cancerous lust for the black gold, is no exception. Fortunately, what sets There Will Be Blood apart from other pseudo-homages like Magnolia and Boogie Nights, and what makes it his most mature film to date, is a result of the blood, sweat, and tears of one man. Daniel Day-Lewis is one of those rare actors able to rise above his directors' deficiencies. As the oil baron, Daniel Plainview, he grounds the film with the heavy weight of his character's soul and forces Anderson's attention-deficit-disorder directing to remain as sharply focused as the steel bit on a rig.

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