Sunday, 18 July 2010

(500) Films of Empire - Day 306

144 - There Will Be Blood - 4 stars
While it might not be the five star film I initially considered it to be upon its release, I still am of the opinion that it is vastly superior to the film that the critics seemed to place in battle against -No Country For Old Men.
Nowhere was this more apparent than at the Oscars where they went head to head but No Country won out on the night but hopefully over time people will see what I see and recognise it as a classic.
Thankfully the Academy did choose to award the film with the Oscar for Best Cinematography, as it looks absolutely stunning with wide vistas not seen since the days of Cinemascope.
It is a true feast for the senses as there is also an experimental score by Johnny Greenwood of Radiohead.
This story of one man's obsession with power and greed is anchored by a towering performance by Daniel Day Lewis as Daniel Plainview. He dominates every scene he is in, which is every scene in the film with the exception of one.
Day Lewis is always incredibly intense and it must be intimidating to work with. I admire Paul Dano's guts during the baptism scene where he slaps him in the face. Day Lewis gives him a look like "I will kill you for this".
Then there is the final scene. Yes, that moment!
When they were making this film, I honestly don't believe that P.T. Anderson or Daniel planned or imagined that one certain line at the end would go on to become a catchphrase of sorts and a source for endless spoofs and impressions.
Yet it did, as Day Lewis's performance tips into the OTT and chewing of scenery (I can pinpoint the exact moment - his second "yes he doessssuerrr"), followed by accidental drooling and the immortal line "I DRINK YOUR MILKSHAKE!". I actually had that as my text message alert for a year!
It is entertaining but for me the change in tone is too great compared to the rest of the film and it takes you out of it.
Other than that tonal shift, it was pretty damn near perfect.
Once more with feeling, altogether now... "I drink..."

Days remaining - 59 Films remaining - 63

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