A tough-minded exhibition guy from another continent says that “‘awesome’ is the only word I can think of to describe Paul Thomas Anderson‘s There Will Be Blood,” which he saw yesterday.
“As someone who fell giddily for Boogie Nights only to be frustrated by the excesses of Magnolia and disappointed in many of the indulgences of Punch Drunk Love, this new film does more than restore PTA’s stature as one of the most exciting American filmmakers — it puts him in the leagues of the masters.
“Blood is two hours and 45 minutes of cinematic heroin. It’s a frightening, overwhelming, punch-to-the-gut work — as strong as anything that John Huston or Stanley Kubrick ever made.
“Too much will be written and said about the accomplishments of Daniel Day Lewis‘s performance to start drooling here. Let’s just say that the Best Actor Oscar is his to lose, not that I imagine he’d care. Paul Dano, in a difficult role, matches him scene for scene — the breakout performance of the year. And Jonny Greenwood’s score is still giving me chills.
“The film is probably too grim and narratively uncompromising to break out commercially beyond the realms of where Jesse James aspires (and may not reach). But it deserves to, and will, do better than that film and certainly is more than just an actor’s showcase in the vein of Last King of Scotland. $20 t0 $30 million is possible, assuming the big awards come through? For my money Day-Lewis pushes the potential of the film beyond the art milieu.
“I can forgive the film for a shocking, visceral final scene that teeters on the verge of hysteria and then dives right off the edge. And also for that same scene’s logic-defying continuity problems.
“Despite these minor flaws, this is a cinematic and artistic experience that few other American films have delivered in recent memory.”