There Will Be Blood was one of only 69 films I’d seen of the Top 250 before I started this project (one year ago today). It was not a prominent member of that exclusive club, and I am a fool for overlooking its brilliance the first time. There Will Be Blood is, upon second viewing, and without overstating it, this is just my opinion… Here we go… An absolute masterpiece of cinema.
As we have spent the last year learning, I cannot always find the best words to express myself. So I’d like to rattle through some stand-out aspects of There Will Be Blood. No real conclusion, besides: a pleasantly surprising new entry to my favourites in and out of the Top 250.
Daniel Day-Lewis is phenomenal. Like a 20th century Frank Underwood, he balances charisma with a sort of ruthlessness that is always bubbling beneath the surface – an admirable drive that is also unattractively poisonous to those around him.
The film is made harder to watch by the score. Even in its opening moments, the rising scream of strings creates an immediate sense of foreboding that never really goes away. In Plainview’s most menacing moments, Day-Lewis and the score come together to shine.
Even without the captivating performance of the lead, or the seemingly endless series of perfect frames that plays like a coffee table book of cinematographic achievement… Strip it all back and you’re left with a thrilling story – one that pushes me towards the source novel in the (likely naïve) hope I’ll find something even richer.