epsully’s review published on Letterboxd:
Finally filled this huge blindspot in my modern movie catalog. I knew from general word on the street that Daniel Day Lewis would be spectacular but had really not heard much of anything about Paul Dano/his character's role in the film. Eli's religious opportunism is such a perfect inversion of Daniel's unfettered, amoral capitalism and Paul Dano just nails the character's haughty righteousness. I also loved the way DDL/PTA completely sell Daniel Plainview as a real person with very real desires for love and connection that just can't overcome the black hole of his avarice. The acting is clearly where this film shines the brightest, but I was also a big fan of the emotive - especially the early hints of malevolence in otherwise upbeat tracks at the beginning of the film. The cinematography is overall pretty understated I'd say, but a view shots really stuck in my mind, like the hell-on-earth red-filled shot during the oil well fire and the distant shot used during Daniel and H.W.'s reunion that really drove home the vast emotional chasm that now existed between them. I don't have a good reason for why I can't give a full 5 stars to this film, only that even as I stand in awe of all the aforementioned aspects of the film, its not something that I immediately feel like I want to sit down and rewatch. Still, so glad I finally did for at least this first viewing.
Watched solo at home on Netflix