There Will be Blood...
Preceded by some boring dialogue and predictable character development.
So after watching No Country for Old Men I decided I would finally take the time to watch There Will be Blood. This is a movie that I wasn't really interested in at all when it first came out, a movie about an American Oilman in the early twentieth century carries no interest in it at all for me. Added to that, the mixed reviews and hearing how it is on the slow side certainly didn't do it any favours with me. But over the years I have heard more and more good things about it from my friends and so decided to take the endevaour of sitting down and watching this epic.
Overall Shannon and I agreed, boring, actually that should be Boring. I found the first half hour to hour somewhat interesting but then it quickly devolved into an orgy with itself. It just seemed to go on and on without much need. Alright, we get it, Daniel Plainview is a very very cutthroat businessman, who will stop at nothing to make money and whose business and money comes first and everything else (including human life) second, but really did it need to be 2.5 hours of that?
Acting first. Yes Daniel Day Lewis did an outstanding job as Daniel Plainview, but that is about it. Paul Dano's preacher was annoying at best and awkward at worst, and why does he scream so high pitched so often in this movie? I think I much preferred his mute character in Little Miss Sunshine. The whole subcast of actors and characters had spotty acting throughout, I especially remember the father of the Sunday ranch (David Willis I believe), oh my lord that acting was awful, that is the sort of stiff awkward thing you see in a high school play, not a big Hollywood film. Although thankfully his character was very minor with very few lines which was much different than Dan Aykroyd's terrible terrible awful awkward acting in The Curse of the Jade Scorpion (a very nice Woody Allen movie with some of the worst overall acting I've ever seen, one should watch some of it just to see how bad of an actor Dan Aykroyd is, even if I still love the first Ghostbusters movie and hope the next one is good but doubtful). But after watching the movie and looking over the cast of the film it is clearly a movie wholly about Plainview and all the other characters are simply filler. What I found funny about Daniel Day Lewis is this movie is how much he looked and sometimes his mannerisms reflected a combination of Kramer from Seinfeld and the Soup Nazi, just something weird I noticed while watching. Oh and how the adult HW reminder me of a friend's (JR) boyfriend (PG).
I found this movie to echo many of the aspects of The Great Ziegfeld; the emotional and business rise and fall of a man at the turn of the last century. Albeit, the fall for Plainview at the end is not about bankruptcy but the idea of his fall from grace (very loosely using the word grace in Plainview's case) is there. To me, The Great Ziegfeld did a much superior job of conveying this feeling, and much more interesting and entertaining than There Will be Blood.
In the end this movie was boring and I didn't much care for any of the characters and the subject matter isn't particularly interesting either. This combined, I can definitely see how Daniel Day Lewis won best actor, but I can also see how No Country for Old Men beat it for best picture. Although part of me wonders how it even got on the list of nominated best pictures, yes this is how much I disliked it.
But we always have to consider that this, like many things in life, are a matter of opinion. If we all agreed on everything it would make for a very boring world, all perhaps a happier world in some respects.
Next to watch from this year is Michael Clayton. Another film that I had no interest in seeing when it first came out, but that interest has grown over the years. I always seem to have a love hate relationship with George Clooney. While I don't like him and never really want to watch his films, I usually end up really enjoying them, even if his clean cut nice guy with a chip on his shoulder/ulterior motive character seems ever present in his movies.