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THERE WILL BE BLOOD

Director: PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON

U.S.A. • 2007 • COLOUR • ANAMORPHIC • DOLBY/DTS DIGITAL STEREO • 157 MIN


PAUL THOMAS ANDERSON’S SPRAWLING EPIC ABOUT TURN-OF-THE-CENTURY OIL TYCOON DANIEL PLAINVIEW (DANIEL DAY-LEWIS) FINALLY FULFILS THE PROMISE OF BOOGIE NIGHTS AND MAGNOLIA.
First seen scrabbling precious metal from a makeshift mine, prospector turned oil man Daniel Plainview is a symbol of all that is good, and all that is bad, about the American entrepreneurial spirit. A self-made man with a silver tongue and a keen eye for human weakness, he is both a hard-working hands-on boss and a greedy, overbearing tyrant. As his ongoing conflict with evangelical preacher Eli Sunday (Paul Dano) shows, he sides with the sinners in the battle between God and Mammon. In a rare moment of brutal honesty, the misanthropic Plainview confides: ‘I have a competition in me. I want no-one else to succeed. I hate most people. . . .There are times when I look at people and I see nothing worth liking. I want to make enough money that I can move far away from everyone.’
However, like the megalomaniac newspaper magnate in Orson Welles’ Citizen Kane, Plainview is a compelling monster. Even when he is using his son as a sales prop, to wrest drilling rights from dirt-poor farmers, his fierce energy and intelligence shine through. With a formal diction that blends gritty resolve and slippery deception, Daniel Day-Lewis inhabits rather than portrays Plainview’s sociopathic personality. And it is only when we flash forward to the 1930s, to see Plainview isolated and mad in his Xanadu-like mansion, that Day-Lewis’s towering performance threatens to topple over like a stricken oil derrick.—Nigel Floyd.

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