Saturday, January 26, 2008

There Will Be Blood

This film stars Daniel Day-Lewis as a oilcatter back when oillcatting was really work. No Red Adair to call when the well blows up. I digress. The plot is involved enough, yet simple enough that midway through I turned to Alex and said "I am just not sure what this movie is really about". I wasn't lost, I understood the action, I just couldn't figure out what the message was. It took until the very last scene for me to understand it. And once I did, it was intriguing and was such an intricate study of a man that we meet midway in his life- with no explanation of his past in order to understand his future. Does that make sense? We walk in on Day-Lewis as he inherits a child, and we leave him when he is done with everything. He is a man of retribution. If you must know the plot, which is from a book called "Oil" by my favorite author, Upton Sinclair (whose father was an alcoholic), go read it online. It actually might help. The scenery is grim and rough, just like the people who work in the fields and subsist on the miserably dry land. The costuming is perfect. The sets were built without a level and with an eye to authenticity. If the guy playing the twin brothers looks familiar- he was the brother in Little Miss Sunshine (that's to save you from spending 2 1/2 hours wondering how you know this guy). Every performance is perfect. It is probably as good a film as you will see this year. And I can't really explain why. In yet another film, the score is too intrusive and seems to be used as filler for action in some scenes. If there is a negative, that is the only one. No children in this one. It has several scenes that simply cannot be put in the head of a child no matter how grown up they may seem.