Paul Thomas Anderson
Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Kevin J. O'Connor, Ciaran Hinds, Dillon Freasier, Russell Harvard, Sydney McCallister, Colleen Foy, David Willis, Hans Howes, Paul F. Tompkins, Jim Downey, David Warshofsky, Barry Del Sherman
Oil prospector Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) travels to Little Boston, California, where he buys lands. Not everyone is pleased to see him though and tension builds between Daniel and the local preacher, Eli Sunday (Paul Dano).
If it wasn't for Daniel Day-Lewis winning an Oscar for his performance, I would have never watched this film. I don't have a problem with PT Anderson or anything, it's just that the plot isn't much appealing to me. And I would have lost, yes, a quite negative, terrifying, and flawed film, but a beautiful one as well.
"There Will Be Blood" is the story of a man, his greed, and his thirst for money, and at the same time it's a story of war, not between two nations, but between the previously mentioned man and a two-faced, power-hungry preacher.
Which unfortunately brings to a part of the film that isn't perfectly oiled, religion and its impact onto the plot. Even though the film doesn't have a real plot, it's hard to understand how religion works in there. Sure, the film attacks the hypocrisy of religion, but some religion-related events happen but they don't have any real effect on the story.
Another weak part is the long-lost brother subplot. It doesn't add anything to the film, it just elongates the running time a bit. It can be easily removed from the film without any real loss.
Anyway, the film manages to outline wonderfully the decline of Daniel Plainview's morals, even though seeing the consequences and impact of his declining morals on other would have been interesting.
Technically speaking, there's nothing to say. Paul Thomas Anderson does a wonderful job directing this, showing both the rise to power and self-destruction of a man, and the oil fields. He also gives us a beautifully shot film that wonderfully shows the wickedness of man. And since I mentioned it, the cinematography is truly beautiful, the shots, the lighting, the camera movements. All of it.
And of course there's Daniel Day-Lewis's performance. With an intense, Oscar worthy performance, he captures the power of greed, insanity and fear and really brings to life the character, a character that could have easily been uninteresting if wrongly portrayed. But let's not forget about the amazing performance Paul Dano gives as the preacher.