Tuesday, January 15, 2008


2008 Best Actor in a leading role
Best Cinematography


Established in 1870 Standard Oil was one of the world’s first and largest multinational corporations until it was dissolved in 1911. John D. Rockefeller was the founder, dominant partner and the major shareholder. His investment made him a billionaire and eventually the world’s richest man.

Standard Oil apparently used very aggressive competitive practices. For example, when a rival oil company planned on building a pipeline across some railway land to transport their product to market at the insistence of Standard Oil permission was denied. Consequently this forced the consortium to barrel off the oil, carry it across the railway line in carts then pump the oil into the pipeline on the other side of the tracks. It seems when Rockefeller learned of this, he instructed the railway company to park empty rail cars on the tracks preventing the carts from crossing over the rail line.

Daniel Day-Lewis: prospector Daniel Plainview
Dillon Freasier: his son H.W.
Ciarán Hinds: Plainview’s oil partner Fletcher
Paul Dano: Paul Sunday
also played by Paul Dano: Paul’s twin brother Eli, an evangelist preacher
Kevin J. O'Connor: Daniel’s half-brother Henry
Russell Harvard: the adult H.W.

Every once in a while there is a movie that gets it all right. Such is the case with this one. Two absolutely brilliant performances (Day-Lewis and Dano) are framed in beautifully shot majestic scenes of the undeveloped western United States. Production design (the overall look of the movie including costumes, sets etc.) is outstanding and the musical score is just perfect albeit not your usual sound track.

Although it runs for two hours and thirty-eight minutes it is not excruciatingly long: it takes that much time to cover some 30 years and needs the unhurried pace to allow for adequate character development. In a word, it is just the right length.

for some violence.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

finally got to see the infamous There Will Be Blood... Daniel-Day Lewis' performance was top-notch. He takes well to the overbearing, violent father-figure role -- he also did this in Gangs of New York.