Two opposing views of Paul Thomas Anderson‘s There Will be Blood — the yea from Matt Zoller Seitz, the nay from N.P. Thompson.
Blood “isn’t perfect or entirely satisfying, but it’s so singular in its conception and execution that one can no more dismiss it than one can dismiss a volcanic eruption occurring in one’s backyard,” Seitz observes. “It cannot be diminished — as Hard Eight, Boogie Nights and Magnolia could, and to my mind, rightly were diminished — as another instance of a facile, energetic director hurling homage at the audience.”
Having seen it on 11.28, Thompson writes that “in the clear light of late autumn drizzle, There Will Be Blood appeared to be no more and no less than what it truly is: a bomb, and an overwrought one at that. It may be a tonier work than the detestable Boogie Nights, but Anderson’s underlying crudeness and his overkill ‘”sensibility’ haven’t evolved an iota. (Yes, Virginia, I can hear the jihadists singing in the comments section already.)
“A friend who hated the movie as much as I did asked afterwards, as we dodged rain in the Oaktree Cinema parking lot, ‘Did that amount to anything beyond a couple of games of one-upmanship?’ I confessed I hadn’t thought of Blood in those terms. Still, her question perfectly encapsulated the anorexic one-dimensionality of the picture, and I had to agree.”