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There Will Be Blood
A possible Oscar contender.
There Will Be Blood
Daniel Day-Lewis Stars in "There Will Be Blood".
DOMESTIC TOTAL: $15,000,000
OTHER PREVIEWS: Alatriste (7/10)
  This Film is NOT a Future Release.
  The Following Preview has been Archived.

September 17th, 2007: There Will be Blood tells the story of greed, corruption and exploitation during the oil boom of the early 20th century. An oil prospector, Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), comes to a small run down town which has oil riches buried right below the surface. As Plainview grows rich from the receipts, the town suffers. He becomes completely corrupted by the money destroying his soul and the relationship with his son. Eli (Paul Dano), a young preacher who claims to be a prophet opposes Plainview, but also becomes corrupted by the power he yields over his flock. The story spans the lifetime of both and vividly describes their fall from grace.

What to Expect: There will be Blood. What a cool title. When I first heard it, I envisioned some sort of ultra violent gangland revenge movie, but I was disappointed to learn that it was actually a period piece about oil exploitation and faith in a small Texas town in the 1930's. It is an adaptation of an overly political and really boring Upton Sinclair novel called Oil!. However, as I did my research, I began to realize that this movie truly has the potential to be great.

The main reason this is going to succeed is director Paul Anderson (Punch Drunk Love, Magnolia, Boogie Nights). He took the Uptown Sinclair novel and just started rewriting parts of it. As he puts it, "they just started to stick, they looked really good, they looked really really good, and it was really inspiring, and one thing led to another, and you turn around and it's a year later and it's become a year later and you wonder where half the sh*t came from.". Normally I would be upset when a Hollywood director alters a classic book, but not in this case. Sinclair has never had one of his books successfully adapted for the big screen and there is good reason for that. He was not a very entertaining writer; he used his books as a political platform to bring attention to the plight of the proletarian and to further some of his communist ideas. In fact, the novel Oil! attacks the two major enemies of any good communist: Capitalism and Organized Religion. Paul Anderson took the basic ideas of the novel but then injected some of his own themes like divine fate, the serendipitous nature of love and family relations. The original idea of capitalist corruption and exploitation still remain, however they are no longer the central idea of the story. Althought, it still tells the tale of Daniel Plainview, an oil tycoon who exploits a small, rundown down for its oil. The actually story now focuses on how Plainview prospers from the oil but loses his soul in the process and destroys his relationship with his son. It will focus on humanity and human relationships a lot more instead of the politics that they embrace. Some who have read the script feel that Anderson is using the small Texas town as a metaphor for the Middle East, but Anderson vehemently denies this. According to him, this is not a movie about politics, but a movie about people.

Anderson, armed with this new dynamic script, wanted to make the movie independently. He began casting in 2005 and signed Daniel Day-Lewis to star as Plainview. However, Anderson could not raise the 25 million dollar budget he felt he needed to make the movie right. Luckily, Day-Lewis was so enamored with the script that he agreed to not take on any jobs and wait for Anderson to get his funding. He instead spent the time researching the Oil industry for an entire year. When Anderson finally raised enough money he not only had a great script but also a well prepared star. To round out the cast, Anderson cast Paul Dano as Eli. Dano was great in Little Miss Sunshine, and will be even better in this movie as a religious zealot. This movie is an amazing opportunity for both actors and I am sure they will make the best of it.

The finished product turned out really well. It has the style and look that has endeared Anderson to his fans and is loaded with that smart, get to the point dialogue as well as entertaining musical montages. Anderson, being a huge Radiohead fan, actually got the guitarist to do all the music for the movie. Yet, the best part of Anderson's movies is the extended steady camera shots that sometimes go on for minutes. In the age when entire films are made on a computer, it is refreshing to see a director just take a camera and shoot like that.

In Conclusion: There is no question that this movie will be of the highest quality. The real question is, will the audience want to see a film this harsh. Obviously it is not for everyone and will not go on to make one hundred million dollars at the box office, but it will get Oscar consideration. If you are a true movie fan then this is a must see.

Similar Titles: Magnolia, Wall Street
December 26th, 2007 (limited)
April 8th, 2008 (DVD)

Paramount Pictures

Paul Thomas Anderson

Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Ciaran Hinds, Kevin J. OConnor

Total: 137 vote(s).


Click here to view site

Rated R for some violence.

158 min





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