This review may contain spoilers. I can handle the truth.
The Ron’s review published on Letterboxd:
This review may contain spoilers.
Film 13 on my Re-watch Wednesday list.
Eli Sunday: Why are you talking about Paul?
Plainview: I did what your brother couldn't.
Eli Sunday: Don't say this to me.
Plainview: I broke you and I beat you. It was Paul who told me about you. He's the prophet. He's the smart one. He knew what was there and he found me to take it out of the ground, and you know what the funny thing is? Listen... listen... listen... I paid him ten thousand dollars, cash in hand, just like that. He has his own company now. A prosperous little business. Three wells producing. Five thousand dollars a week.
Plainview: Stop crying, you sniveling ass! Stop your nonsense. You're just the afterbirth, Eli.
Eli Sunday: No...
Plainview: You slithered out of your mother's filth.
Eli Sunday: No.
Plainview: They should have put you in a glass jar on a mantlepiece. Where were you when Paul was suckling at his mother's teat? Where were you? Who was nursing you, poor Eli? One of Bandy's sows? That land has been had. Nothing you can do about it. It's gone. It's had.
Eli Sunday: If you would just take...
Plainview: You lose.
Eli Sunday: ...this lease, Daniel...
Plainview: Drainage! Drainage, Eli, you boy. Drained dry. I'm so sorry. Here, if you have a milkshake, and I have a milkshake, and I have a straw. There it is, that's a straw, you see? Watch it. Now, my straw reaches acroooooooss the room and starts to drink your milkshake. I... drink... your... milkshake!
Plainview: I drink it up!
Eli Sunday: Don't bully me, Daniel!
[Daniel roars and throws Eli across the room]
Plainview: Did you think your song and dance and your superstition would help you, Eli? I am the Third Revelation! I am who the Lord has chosen!
2007 was a damn good year for me film wise. I'd have to go back and look to see how good a year it was overall, but considering this film and No Country for Old Men were both released in 2007 and sit firmly in my top 20 of all-time, I have to say it was a good year. I recently revisited the latter as part of my Re-watch Wednesday list and it held the five star rating I originally gave it. I had There Will Be Blood at 4.5 stars and that's were I'm going to keep it. It's was just as good on this repeat viewing as the first time I saw it. Many people call it a masterpiece, I'm just not prepared to do that at this point. I'm not saying it's not, I'm just saying I'm not sure. I'll need a couple more re-watches I think before I can make that decision. I will say this, if it's not a masterpiece, it's damn close.
Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Daniel Plainview, an ambitious prospector who strikes it rich after receiving valuable information about a simple town sitting on top of a sea of oil. Daniel's dealings in the town stoke the ire of a charismatic young preacher who lives there named Eli Sunday (Paul Dano). The two men clash many times over the years until their relationship comes to an unexpected conclusion.
As I mentioned I'm not quite ready to call this film a masterpiece. I think it's one of the best films ever made, but masterpiece is a word I don't use lightly. It's a film that relies so heavily on it's central performances I just need more viewings to decide if the story is a par with those performances. Daniel Day-Lewis who is an Oscar contender every time he takes a role is perfect, and Paul Dano is equally as good in a performance I along with I think most people never saw coming. Then you have director Paul Thomas Anderson. A director I'd say probably ranks in my top 3 personal favorites. The man hasn't made a bad film in my opinion, and his brilliance is on full display here. His adaptation of Upton Sinclair's novel Oil is nothing short of great and deserving of every award it has won. The performances and direction are so good in fact I fear they could be distracting me from noticing any flaws. I'm hoping after a couple more watches it'll earn that extra half star I'm holding hostage.
Ron's recommendation: Must see! This is quite possibly PTA's masterpiece, and a film every lover of cinema should see.