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Why the best film of the 21st century is There Will Be Blood | Film

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The title is a prophecy, a warning, or a vengeful supernatural pronouncement. Paul Thomas Anderson’s strange masterpiece, freely adapted by him from Upton Sinclair’s 1927 novel Oil!, is a tragic parable of man’s dependence on this commodity: formerly the lubricant of commercial triumph and technological innovation, and now the dwindling lifeblood of our material prosperity, the unacknowledged driving force of our military conflicts, and even the cause of a coming ecological catastrophe. That dark title threatens a calamity now visible on the horizon: destruction of the Earth itself. And it is all inscribed in the story of the movie’s leading character, a man with the Bunyanesque name of Daniel Plainview.

Daniel Day-Lewis gives perhaps the greatest, certainly the most exotic performance of his career as an oil prospector in the early 20th century, rewarded with colossal wealth that never gives him the smallest pleasure and serves only to amplify the loneliness, paranoia and resentment that were there from the very beginning. Day-Lewis seems to have unlocked this character’s mystery by seizing on a voice: a robust, cantankerous Scots-Irish accent that he has modified from John Huston (a borrowing that itself may have a subtextual reminder of Huston directing The Treasure of the Sierra Madre). As a poor man, Plainview is seen hacking fanatically away in a silver mine, to the accompaniment of an eerie, atonal score by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood: he accidentally discovers oil, like the apes at the beginning of Kubrick’s 2001 discovering their opposable thumbs.

Watch the trailer for There Will Be Blood

The movie perhaps looks even stranger, starker and more unforgiving now than when it was released in 2007. Since then, Day-Lewis has given more emollient and sympathetic performances: as Abraham Lincoln for Spielberg in 2012, and as the fictional English couturier Reynolds Woodcock for Paul Thomas Anderson’s Phantom Thread in 2017. Compared with either, Plainview is uncompromising and uningratiating, and it is a grandiloquent performance that could be expected of no one else. Perhaps not Olivier in his screen heyday would have tried something so melodramatically strange – and yes, the weird “milkshake” monologue at the end now feels a bit exposed. No one other than Day-Lewis could have carried it off. The film is also intensely, disconcertingly male, a story of male toxicity without any real female dimension.

Dillon Freasier and Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood.



‘A story of male toxicity without any real female dimension’ … Dillon Freasier and Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood. Photograph: Miramax/Sportsphoto/Allstar

As a rich man, Plainview is marooned in a huge, dark mausoleum of a house, boasting with black-comic savagery that he will suck up every competitor’s oil like a milkshake. This scene, along with one showing Plainview theatrically driving a stake through a claim map in front of investors, is perhaps there to make us think of Welles’s Charles Kane, the entrepreneur as performative capitalist, bully and showoff. Like Kane, Plainview is a man whose distinction resides in not having something extra but something missing, a gap where his heart should be, a spiritual imbalance generating neurotic, self-destructive energy.

It could also be that Anderson was inspired by Nicolas Roeg’s underrated movie Eureka from 1983, based on a true story, with Gene Hackman as the super-rich Arctic prospector Jack McCann, who was eventually to face loneliness and a grisly death.

There Will Be Blood may itself have been an influence on The Social Network, directed by David Fincher, in which Jesse Eisenberg’s Mark Zuckerberg is driven by resentment and rage to create the social media world that now rules our lives. But from 2016, there has been a raging Plainview in plain sight in the White House: Trump, the eccentric property billionaire and spoilt baby whose cranky tweets are as crazy as Plainview’s deranged “milkshake” pronouncement.

What a spectacle Anderson and Day-Lewis create: a portrait of male belligerence and fear, a Tutankhamun of misery, walled up in his own sarcophagus of wealth and prestige.


 This article was amended on 13 September 2019. The original mis-named Mark Zuckerberg as Mark Zuckerman. This has been corrected.

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Kelly Clarkson And Justin Guarini’s Movie Actually Good

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Broke: Lady Gaga and Beyoncé’s “Telephone.” Woke: Kelly Clarkson and Anika Noni Rose’s “Madness.”

The year is 2003. You’re excited because American Idol’s winner and runner-up — Kelly Clarkson and Justin Guarini — are starring in a masterpiece otherwise known as From Justin to Kelly.


20th Century Fox / Courtesy Everett Collection

I personally voted for Justin Guarini, but I was a wee babe blinded by looks. I have since learned the error of my ways and recognize Kelly Clarkson as my American Idol.

Does the film have low ratings? Yes. But, now that it’s 2021, I think it’s time that we reclaim how good this movie was.


The WB

I must admit, I was sippin’ on the haterade, but my friend Alyssa made us watch it this past weekend and I’ve already inquired about how soon is too soon before we rewatch it.

It’s the full package! We got dope bops…


20th Century Fox

“Must be the madness and the magic that I feel insiiiiideeeeee!”

And iconIQUE fashion moments…


20th Century Fox /Courtesy Everett Collection

So here just SOME tweets and Tumblr posts from people who ALSO appreciate the cult classic:

12.

Just sitting on the train wondering when Kelly Clarkson is going to have Anika Noni Rose on her show so they can talk about making the cinematic masterpiece that is From Justin to Kelly.


Twitter: @mekishana

Nostalgia Trip

Take a trip down memory lane that’ll make you feel nostalgia AF



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17 Times Clarke And Lexa Were The Most Powerful Couple On "The 100"

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“Life should be about more than just surviving.”


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Hilarious Bling Empire Tweets

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Forget Emily in Paris, I want Anna in Paris.

Earlier this month, Netflix released Bling Empire and it’s, in a word, batshit. So, needless to say, I love it.


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Specifically, Anna Shay and Kevin. Anna ’cause she’s iconic, and Kevin ’cause he’s nice to look at.

The show follows several IRL ~crazy rich Asians~ who live in Los Angeles and live their ostentatious lifestyles.


Netflix

Like, there’s a direct descendent of the Song Dynasty and a billionaire arms and weapons heiress. THAT kind of rich.

Anyway, if you’re like me and binged the entire series while wearing your Target leggings, then these are the tweets for you:

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