Loosely based on Sinclair Lewis’s classic novel Oil!, Paul Thomas Anderson’s There Will Be Blood tells the epic story of Daniel Plainview, a failed silver miner who strikes it rich as an oilman, his adopted son H.W., and a charismatic, oily preacher. Day-Lewis won a richly deserved Oscar for his portrayal of the deeply flawed Plainview, a prototypical and primitive American capitalist who worships only the money and power gained from black gold.
“With a story of and for our times, There Will Be Blood can certainly be viewed through the smeary window that looks onto the larger world. It’s timeless and topical, general and specific, abstract and as plain as the name of its fiery oilman. It’s an origin story of sorts. The opening images of desert hills and a droning electronic chord allude to the beginning of 2001: A Space Odyssey, whose murderous apes are part of a Darwinian continuum with Daniel Plainview. But the film is above all a consummate work of art, one that transcends the historically fraught context of its making, and its pleasures are unapologetically aesthetic. It reveals, excites, disturbs, provokes, but the window it opens is to human consciousness itself.” (NY Times) Winner of the Oscar for Best Cinematography.