There Will Be Blood | Chicago Reader

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Rated R · 158 minutes · 2008

Drama
Paul Thomas Anderson's fifth feature (2007), a striking piece of American self-loathing loosely derived from Upton Sinclair's Oil!, is lively as bombastic period storytelling but limited as allegory. The cynical shallowness of both the characters and the overall conception—American success as an unholy alliance between a turn-of-the-century capitalist (Daniel Day-Lewis) and a faith healer (Paul Dano), both hypocrites—can't quite sustain the film's visionary airs, even with good expressionist acting and a percussive score by Radiohead's Jonny Greenwood. Day-Lewis, borrowing heavily from Walter and John Huston, offers a demonic hero halfway between Thomas Sutpen in Faulkner's Absalom, Absalom! and James Dean's hate-driven tycoon in Giant (shot on the same location as this movie), but Kevin J. O'Connor in a slimmer part offers a much more interesting and suggestive character. This has loads of swagger, but for stylistic audacity I prefer Anderson's more scattershot Magnolia.
Official Site: www.therewillbeblood.com
Director: Paul Anderson
Producer: Paul Anderson, Daniel Lupi, Joanne Sellar, Scott Rudin, Eric Schlosser and David Williams
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Kevin O'Connor, Ciarán Hinds, Dillon Freasier, Sydney McCallister, David Willis, David Warshofsky, Colton Woodward and Russell Harvard

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