So this makes two movies in a row (Lars and the Real Girl) that I highly recommend. Unlike Lars, this is not a feel-good story ... at all. It is, however, a tremendous movie. If you've been living under a rock for the past 6 months, here's the trailer:
First, I need to admit that I was a big fan of P.T. Anderson and Daniel Day-Lewis before I even saw this film, largely due to Punch-Drunk Love and The Last of the Mohicans, respectively. Now that my bias is in the open, I again declare that this movie is fantastic. On the other hand, I will warn you that it is "slow," as the first lines of dialog do not come until after the ten-minute mark. I'm a fan of "slow" movies if they are good (i.e. The Mission, About Schmidt, The Assassination of Jesse James...), and this is one of those movies, so don't watch it expecting it to have the pace of a Die Hard movie.
Having watched There Will Be Blood on both the big and little screens, if you missed it in theaters then you can't fully grasp the film's cinematic brilliance. Normally a movie necessitates a big-screen viewing because of action scenes; TWBB translates adequately to the small screen, but the grandiose vistas lose their impact. I still command you to see this movie, but keep the lack of the theater factor in mind.
Daniel Day-Lewis gives what I comfortably call "the best performance I've ever seen." I might be guilty of presentism and I haven't seen all the "classics," but watching this movie for a second time confirmed my initial impressed impression. For instance, after Daniel places his son on the train and "goes to see the conductor," you can see his lips subtly moving as he walks away with his head down. The amazing thing about DDL in this film is that he never overacts in a film that features him on screen for about 150 of the 158 minutes.
I think There Will Be Blood should have won the Oscar for Best Picture over No Country for Old Men and here's why: the ending. I left NCfOM with a complete "WTF mate?" sort of feeling. What does the dream mean? Does it mean that Javier Bardem gets away or that he's eventually going to get caught? As I exited the theater after seeing TWBB, my mouth might have still been agape, and I probably shook my head in disbelief at how stunning--yet thoroughly fitting--the ending was. No ambiguity. It might be the best, yet most horrifying, ending ever.
Final Grade: A+
Blurb: This movie inspires the most deserved ("deserve-ed") hyperbole ... ever. Rent it. Right now.