Wednesday, 27 February 2008

There Will be Blood: Drink it up

The oscars came and went with a little less clamour than usual, despite all the will it/wont it go ahead hulaballoo. No country for old men did well - a fine a film sure, but There will be Blood came away with just a best actor and cinematography. And no best picture. This is strange to me, as I found this to be one of the most impressive films I've seen for a while. Certainly more interesting than the admittedly quite interesting NCFOM.

The latest from PT Anderson, Blood bizarrely shares much in common with previous efforts Boogie Nights and Punch Drunk Love, as we follow Day-Lewis' extraordinary "oil man" Plainview, through the various stages of his career at the turn of the 20th century. I was rather rooting for Viggo for best actor before seeing this, but the gong, it seems has gone the right way. From filthy and tenacious hole scratching silver miner, to batshit insane oil supremo, Day-Lewis puts in an extraordinary performance, chewing scenery and cast members up in a relentless torrent of abuse and well, shouting. The character is incredibly complex, and I thought rather likeable - although most people I've spoken to view him as a monster. Put it this way, I'd want him on my side. This is full of fabulous quotes, as long as you can imitate the voice properly, the milkshake speech is already a full fledged internet meme, and the OTT performances (yes there are others in it) makes for a twistedly funny film.

But should the best film oscar have gone Blood's way too? Hard to say. On No country again, I found to be rather safe and conventional, and seemed a more overtly oscar chasing movie. Blood is far from conventional. The soundtrack is insane (brilliantly) and the plot is quite subtle in its dark deconstruction of the american dream. The impact of the film is so closely tied to the main character that its easy to give him all the credit. At first glance, he is the film. This all may have gone against it, which saddens me a little, as this on repeat viewing may turn out to be a modern classic from a full fat genuine, bona fide, post-Kubrickian auteur. PTA drinks your milkshake.


Joey said...

Like your blog. Will visit again.

Munial said...

wow I missed this, like 2 months ago! Thanks, and come back anytime...!