Movie Review: "There Will Be Blood"
I figured that since I'd already seen two of the movies nominated for "Best Picture" for the Oscars, I should try to see the other three so I can make a good decision about which one I think should win. So, I went tonight to see "There Will Be Blood", a story of a California oilman in the early 20th century.
Daniel Day-Lewis did an incredible job in the lead role; I'm sure he'll win the "Best Actor" Oscar, and deservedly so. The movie itself had long periods, including the first 5 minutes or so, with no real dialogue; this was a somewhat effective vehicle for introducing the character's motivations, although you never do learn why the main character hates everyone.
When I watch a period piece, I fully expect to feel like I've learned something about the era being portrayed. This film seemed to be fairly effective in covering, on a micro level, both California oil wildcatting and the early 1900s religious revival. The old towns, transportation, and living arrangements are what I'd always kind of imagined they'd look like, so I enjoyed them -- anything to reinforce my own worldview.
The movie was long, at almost three hours. I had to go to the bathroom about 2 1/2 hours in, during what I thought would make a good climatic "confrontation" scene with the faith healer who had earlier humiliated Day-Lewis' oilman. During my time away, I was wondering why the movie was titled as it was -- there hadn't been lots of unnecessary murders by a ruthless madman like I was expecting. When I made my way back to the theater, I figure something must have happened to make the audience mad; most of them had left, leaving behind only obnoxious teenagers. Even worse, someone had stolen my coat! Deciding to stick it out until the end, I was surprised to see that the movie had apparently jumped forward to the present day. In a very Kafkaesque plot twist, it appeared that they were showing the oilman's descendents, who were dressed as ancient
Overall, for the part I saw, I give it 3 Stereotypically-Violent Oil Gushers out of five.