Tuesday, March 02, 2010

562 - You Aught to Know - There Will Be Blood - #6 (Tie)

There Will Be Blood, Paul Thomas Anderson, 46 points

“Anybody can make a lot of money, if all you want to do is make a lot of money.” Few big-screen characters have exemplified Mr. Bernstein’s philosophy as Daniel Day-Lewis’ Plainview, the very embodiment of venal, soul-sucking greed. Those who’ve taken P.T. Anderson’s masterpiece as an allegory for the modern oil industry miss the point that, if it hadn’t been oil that made Plainview a bazillionaire, it’d been some other damn thing. Anderson’s film isn’t always pleasant or cheerful, but it’s uncompromising, and thanks to the director’s visual pyrotechnics and Day-Lewis’ volcanic performance, exciting as hell. - Paul Clark

Such a complex character—only Daniel Day Lewis could pull it off. Contradictory, savage, ruthless—unquenchably thirsty for wealth and success. And yet admirable, ambitious, determined, disciplined. Perhaps I am alone in this, but I rooted for this character from the opening scenes in which he nearly kills himself digging for that essential substance, oil, the resource on which our nation’s economic dominance was nursed. The eerie ambivalence of my rooting for him, however, leaves me as uncomfortable as many of the violent scenes in chillingly well-wrought film. The ambient sound editing and blood-curdling score only intensify this troublingly beautiful quality. - Aaron McNally

Next time on You Aught to Know: Paul Clark

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