I agree with Rope of Silicon‘s Brad Brevet‘s belief that the Best Actor Oscar is pretty much Daniel Day Lewis‘s for the taking. If any one scene from There Will Be Blood is the clincher, I suspect it’s probably the one called “I’ve Abandoned My Child!,” which Brevet has posted along with five others.
Lewis shows us Daniel Plainview‘s reluctance to play the part of a sinner, and then his irritation at the goading from Paul Dano‘s Eli to really and truly atone before God, and then his increasing rage at Eli’s turning up the emotion and the frenzy. The comes an odd synthesis of pleading and snarling — half confession (possibly sincere on some level), and half “I’ll get this sanctimonious preacher one day if it kills me.”
In his introduction of these six Blood clips, Brevet cautions viewers to watch them in sequential order — as I do also. Be sure, in particular, to watch “I Will Bless the Well” before “That’s It, Ladies and Gentlemen.”
These scenes contain no spoilers. They’re morsels, samples, hors d’eouvres. Except for “I’ve Abandoned My Child!,” that is. It contains a cupcake-sized spoiler. Okay, a spoiler the size of a McDonald’s Happy Meal. Change that — it’s the size of a regular small cheeseburger without fries or coke. All it really tells you is that Plainview is a fierce conniving monster, but then you knew that going in…right?