There Will Be Blood (USA 2007 Directed by Paul Anderson 158 mins Cert 15) will be shown at the Corrie Film club on Sunday 8th July.
A powerful drama featuring a riveting performance by Daniel Day-Lewis, the movie tells the story of a silver miner turned oilman during the Southern Californian oil boom of the late 19th and early 20th centuries.
There Will Be Blood is Paul Anderson’s loose adaptation of the novel Oil! by Upton Sinclair, and it focuses its attentions on Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), a miner who happens upon black gold during a disastrous excavation that ends in a broken leg. Pulling himself up from the bowels of the earth, both literally and metaphorically, Plainview embarks on a systematic and steadfast approach to mastering the oil business.
Plainview launches a campaign to convince small-town property owners they should let him drill their land. Without him, they won’t have the equipment to access the profit beneath their feet. He builds an empire this way — and gradually becomes obsessed with the intrinsic value of power, growing increasingly irascible and paranoid in the process.
Writing in the Guardian, Peter Bradshaw says, “The movie speaks of oil’s savage, entrepreneurial pre-history; in one haunted man, it shows our dysfunctional relationship with capital and natural resources, and even hints at a grim future in which our addiction to oil can no longer be fed. Daniel Day-Lewis plays Daniel Plainview, a pioneer silver-miner who chances upon oil in 1898, a discovery he greets with a brief, leonine grin – one of the very few times he smiles. Shrewdly, ruthlessly, Plainview parlays that initial stroke of good luck into a gigantic fortune, driven by pride and misanthropic contempt for everyone and everything around him. But Plainview has one vulnerability: he has an adopted son, named HW (Dillon Freasier), whom he loves and yet exploits. And he has an enemy: a smooth and sanctimonious young preacher, Eli Sunday (Paul Dano), whose family ranch Plainview has had to buy to get at the oceans of oil underground.”