There Will Be Blood ★★★★½

My third time watching There Will Be Blood was an odd experience. It was almost like a different film. The first time I watched it, I slightly underestimated how inaccessible it is on its first watch. The second time, I thought it was near-perfect.

But this time, something was missing. I don't know if it had anything to do with the circumstances under which I watched it - with two friends who'd never seen it before who, surprisingly (and annoyingly), didn't seem like they really cared about watching the film even though they both said they wanted to see it. That didn't help. But even so, I still didn't feel the same way about it. It wasn't really any worse, nor was it any better. The performances, direction, cinematography, writing etc. are all still superb. Funnily enough my friends didn't think the music fit the film at all, but they are, of course, wrong. They also seemed to think that it was perfectly accessible, they just thought it was an okay film, but I assured them that it would improve with a repeat viewing.

It's still a masterpiece, don't get me wrong, and Paul Thomas Anderson is still, for me at least, the best writer-director of his or any time. But for whatever reason, there was just something missing that I can't explain.

I don't think it's perfect - I think PTA deserved the Best Director Oscar more than the Coens, but I maintain that No Country for Old Men is a virtually flawless film, and therefore deservedly won Best Picture and Adapted Screenplay - nor do I think it's Anderson's best film - that would be Punch-Drunk Love, though I haven't seen Boogie Nights - but, come on, it's There Will Be Blood.

Shameless plug:
Punch-Drunk Love review: letterboxd.com/jonesysmall/film/punch-drunk-love/

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