(Review originally written at 1 May 2009)

'They don't make them like this anymore' is a much uses expression when saying something about a classy '40's epic. "There Will Be Blood" however is just a movie like that. Appearantly there are still directors around with the talent to bring back the old feeling of a brilliant epic from the early days of cinema, with the same style and approach of things, that might seem slow and old fashioned for some people but are a real treat for the lovers of cinema.

"There Will Be Blood" is a slow but real intriguing and very detailed portrayed of a man. It's like an autobiographic movie without being based on an actual person (well, not 100% fully). Just like in real life he faces some extreme ups and downs, of which the downs are of course the real interesting aspects of the movie. It's a real powerful movie to watch, even when there is actually very little happening. It's a movie made with such an eye for detail that this becomes a subtly brilliant movie.

'When ambition meets faith' is a great tag-line for the movie. It really describes what the movie is about. It's main character is a real driven one that has aspiring ambitions but countless times he's being pulled down by events and people around him, even when things are going really well for him. He basically sacrifices his entire life, without giving his actual life, for reaching his goal. When he has eventually reached that goal life is also empty for him. The movie is a great character study of a greedy man, who of course also still has an heart and soul.

Of course the movie is almost completely being driven by Daniel Day-Lewis. He for 90% basically makes this entire movie. Without him there also truly wouldn't had been "There Will Be Blood". Like always he really becomes the character, which is perhaps even a bit scary at times to see him get into his role so deeply. As expected he also won an Oscar for his role. Whenever Daniel Day-Lewis plays a role like this one there simply is no other competition for him. Most of the time he also completely plays all of his fellow actor from the screen in this movie, which perhaps sounds as a compliment but actually is more a bit of a complaint. He lets some of the other fine actors look bad, of which the movie doesn't benefit. Luckily though the movie is purely about Daniel Day-Lewis for 90% of the time, making the complaint not much of a complaint anyway.

But of course Paul Thomas Anderson shouldn't be forgotten. After all he is the man that had the guts to directed this movie, that isn't exactly mainstream in its core but nevertheless became a modest box office hit due to his professional skills. The movie won lots of awards, which of course wasn't just due to Daniel Day-Lewis his performance. Paul Thomas Anderson is a real talented director who really knows how to tell a story powerful, effective and intriguing, even when in its core the story might seem far from any of that. He proved this before with movies such as "Magnolia" and "Boogie Nights". "There Will Be Blood" however still remains his most grand and epic production as of yet.

It's also a real beautiful looking. The movie does a very good job at creating a very authentic look and atmosphere for the story that is set at the end of the 19th century and the beginning of the 20th. The movie is gritty and dark and has a depressing look without ever giving you a depressing feeling. The movie also really deserved its Oscar which it won for its cinematography. The movie was nominated for a total of 8 Oscar's, making it one of the big movies of 2007. It won only 2 Oscar's though and lost out its most important awards to the hit-movie "No Country for Old Man".

A great unique movie made in the style and tradition of the movies from the 'good old days'.


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About Frank Veenstra

Watches movies...writes about them...and that's it for now.
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