#1 Edited by OfficeGamer (1087 posts) -

I'm very puzzled by the ending and feel like there are a lot of loose ends or things that didn't serve any purpose.

Even though I really dislike pretty boy 1990s Daniel Day-Lewis, I thought he nailed the character in this one. In other movies I often see the face of the actor distorting the character, but this performance felt like the camera is filming the man himself.

So performance wise, excellente. The sharp turn in the relationship between Daniel and his son was very emotional for me because it parallels my brother's relationship with my father, so that also was very emotional and well done, it was shocking and overwhelming. Almost shed a tear during the final confrontation between those two, bro.

But then we have the whole religion thing, and I have no idea what the purpose of that was. Yes religion is stupid and Eli turned his town into a cult, Daniel said what he didn't mean in order to get the land, and later on he made Eli do the same thing for payback, but then... he bashed his head in to death? I do not understand his anger with Eli, I don't understand why he tackled him in the mud, and worst of all I have no idea what Daniel wants with his life.

Basically my complaint is that while the individual elements of the movie (atmosphere, camera work, Lewis' performance, some struggles) are really well done, now 2 and a half hours later I have no idea wha I'm supposed to think or feel, there was no closure and the whole thing was an interesting episode that didn't go anywhere.

I consider this a great experience but it's far from a masterpiece, none of it served a purpose, had any moral points or will be memorable in the future. All I will remember is Daniel's masterful face, painted in oil.

Edit: Maybe it's an American thing? It's your history so it makes sense that it means more to you than me it does to me.

I think there should be a new system of movie classification that classifies movies as 'by Americans for Americans' or 'American movie that speaks to everyone' because between this, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty and others, I can't relate and I don't care..

#2 Edited by Kidavenger (3546 posts) -

I really dislike pretty boy 1990s Daniel Day-Lewis

You need to see Last of the Mohicans...

#3 Posted by MikkaQ (10288 posts) -

Well the whole story is about the effects of capitalism on a small community or family more than it is about anything else. If you watch that movie considering Daniel to be some kind of living manifestation or metaphor for capitalism the whole movie makes a lot more sense.

Also I don't think this movie is "an American thing", it's just that you need a basic understanding of history and the politics of the time to get at what they were going for. But it's also such a well done personal story that a background like that is not necessary to get it, either.

#4 Edited by Colourful_Hippie (4351 posts) -

@mikkaq said:

Well the whole story is about the effects of capitalism on a small community or family more than it is about anything else. If you watch that movie considering Daniel to be some kind of living manifestation or metaphor for capitalism the whole movie makes a lot more sense.

Also I don't think this movie is "an American thing", it's just that you need a basic understanding of history and the politics of the time to get at what they were going for. But it's also such a well done personal story that a background like that is not necessary to get it, either.

Definitely this and how about that scene at the end with the preacher, good stuff.

#5 Edited by Jimbo (9809 posts) -

It was a great performance and a good enough movie, but nothing made it a masterpiece to me.

#6 Edited by OfficeGamer (1087 posts) -

@mikkaq said:

Well the whole story is about the effects of capitalism on a small community or family more than it is about anything else. If you watch that movie considering Daniel to be some kind of living manifestation or metaphor for capitalism the whole movie makes a lot more sense.

Also I don't think this movie is "an American thing", it's just that you need a basic understanding of history and the politics of the time to get at what they were going for. But it's also such a well done personal story that a background like that is not necessary to get it, either.

I disagree. Had the movie been that general in its purpose and meant for the character to merely symbolize a new generation, as you claim, then it wouldn't have all those long awkward silent moments that are supposed to take us somewhere deeper. Where that place is, I haven't figure it out. All those little scenes, the fights, Daniel KILLING the damn priest, what was that all about? How does it fit in him being a manifestation of capitalism?

They could've used a generic actor and not run more than 90 minutes if this is a metaphor for capitalism, but the movie gives the impression that it wants to deliver something more specific, more food for though and atmosphere, I dunno man I'm disappointed and confused. And scared.

#7 Posted by MikkaQ (10288 posts) -

@mikkaq said:

Well the whole story is about the effects of capitalism on a small community or family more than it is about anything else. If you watch that movie considering Daniel to be some kind of living manifestation or metaphor for capitalism the whole movie makes a lot more sense.

Also I don't think this movie is "an American thing", it's just that you need a basic understanding of history and the politics of the time to get at what they were going for. But it's also such a well done personal story that a background like that is not necessary to get it, either.

I disagree. Had the movie been that general in its purpose and meant for the character to merely symbolize a new generation, as you claim, then it wouldn't have all those long awkward silent moments that are supposed to take us somewhere deeper. Where that place is, I haven't figure it out. All those little scenes, the fights, Daniel KILLING the damn priest, what was that all about? How does it fit in him being a manifestation of capitalism?

They could've used a generic actor and not run more than 90 minutes if this is a metaphor for capitalism, but the movie gives the impression that it wants to deliver something more specific, more food for though and atmosphere, I dunno man I'm disappointed and confused. And scared.

Well what more do you want out of it? The film is paced really deliberately, but I don't think that, in itself tells a message so much as sets an atmosphere. A lot of the scenes just establish the relationship between the characters. Killing Eli is a scene that's been pretty heavily discussed so there are different interpretations, but the way I see it, Eli has been a thorn in Plainview's side for a long, long time. Combining the news he just got about his son, ,the opportunity to stick it to his last true rival in the world (at this point he's insanely rich and has no real competition) and the fact that he has been slowly corrupted by greed as the film progresses, killing Eli is basically cementing Daniel's descent into evil and insanity as brought on by his dogged devotion to capitalistic principles. That's why at the end he says "I'm finished!".

#8 Posted by Fredchuckdave (5459 posts) -

The music is terrible, the rest of the movie is superb and DDL's performance sort of seals it as an excellent piece of cinema. That said it all depends on your definition of masterpiece; is There Will Be Blood a top 100 movie? Sure. Is it a top 25 movie? No way.

I've a competition in me.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=28BXqQWqYJU

#9 Posted by jdh5153 (1034 posts) -

Fell asleep in the first ten minutes when I tried to watch this, so I'd say if you consider boring movies masterpieces, it's pretty good at being one.

#10 Edited by mellotronrules (1192 posts) -

The music is terrible

well i certainly disagree. i thought greenwood's work was fantastic, particularly the big fire eruption scene.

for me, i always thought the juxtaposition of plainview v. eli was central to the film. beyond capitalism and new america versus faith and small town old america, i always view them as somewhat manichean constructs. and despite constantly being at odds- they share the same essential bundle of motivations, and they need each other. they might certainly be diametrically opposed at times, and they both symbolize different goals and/or beliefs...yet they're both con artists of a sort who rely on appeals to people's weakness (failing incomes and poverty, social isolation and despair). there's a simultaneous recognition of their selves and open threats whenever the two collide. which is why i thought the ending is so perfect- especially the "ok, i'm done now!" line...the film literally couldn't end until the score was settled.

tl;dr- i think the whole kit and kaboodle was brilliant. probably one of my top 5 favourites.

#11 Posted by Donkeycow (556 posts) -

Edit: Maybe it's an American thing? It's your history so it makes sense that it means more to you than me it does to me.

I think there should be a new system of movie classification that classifies movies as 'by Americans for Americans' or 'American movie that speaks to everyone' because between this, Argo, Zero Dark Thirty and others, I can't relate and I don't care..

I'm not an American but enjoyed all those films you listed very much. Argo and Zero Dark Thirty covered events that were not only important for America, but the entire world, and There Will Be Blood was just a wonderfully put together piece of art.

#12 Edited by Darkstorn (465 posts) -

Daniel Day Lewis' acting was the main reason I liked the movie. The premise was interesting but quite ambiguous.

#13 Edited by TruthTellah (9032 posts) -

Well, he abandoned his boy. He abandoned his child. I think that speaks for itself.

There Will Be Blood legos
#14 Edited by HistoryInRust (6307 posts) -

Always felt No Country for Old Men, which came out the same year and occupies some of the same tonal spaces, was the superior film, but I think There Will Be Blood is canonized for the cinematography and the sheer devotion Daniel Day-Lewis has for his character's monomaniacal persona.

#15 Posted by Icemael (6320 posts) -

Nothing. I liked Day-Lewis' acting and the movie had a nice look, but in the end I was completely indifferent to all of the characters -- none of them had any qualities I could identify with, admire or even hate -- which meant there was no emotional weight to any of what happened. The ending felt especially pointless.

#16 Posted by John1912 (1884 posts) -

I enjoyed the movie a lot, but it never went anywhere. Last 1/3 was pretty meh far as plot. Still gotta love the " I drink your milk shake!"

#17 Posted by Winternet (8018 posts) -

There Will Be Blood is a hard movie to classify. It's a surreal opera about America and the American Man, which is to say, it's about the thirst for power and ambition and how they cloud, or better put, shape reality. It's a paradoxical movie, one that is modern and stylistic and yet is filmed with such classicism and formalism. A movie that wants to capture something bigger than life, very Orson Welles like. It has its moments of sheer intensity and awe and is accompanied by a masterful first 15 minutes, almost without dialogue, and by a puzzling and abrupt end, with a man overwhelmed and inebriated by his power and persona.

Like I said, a hard movie to classify. One that is maybe better suited to be admired rather than to be loved, although I have grown fonder of him as he gets older. I don't really know what else to say. You want to call it a masterpiece? I have no problem with that.

#18 Posted by charlie_victor_bravo (1010 posts) -

Nothing? I did not think that the movie was bad, but masterpiece it is not.

#19 Edited by HH (609 posts) -

nothing.

i'll tell you what i think flat out prevents it from being a masterpiece - the preacher is miscast and underwritten, and there is no balance in the movie because of it, on the one hand you have the weight of day-lewis, with nothing to play against it, making the entire finale illogical, and impotent.

#20 Edited by OfficeGamer (1087 posts) -

Well, he abandoned his boy. He abandoned his child. I think that speaks for itself.

That is actually the worst scene in the movie because just when you get really touched by Daniel going from cynicism to actual anger and regret when he realizes that he has abandoned. his. child, when it's over he gets up with a smirk and says something like "there's the pipeline!" as in he just got what he wanted.

So you wonder whether he actually had a moment of regret there, or whether it was an act and he doesn't care he abandoned his son, but then at the next scene he brings his son back. Mindfuck much? :D

@hh said:

nothing.

i'll tell you what i think flat out prevents it from being a masterpiece - the preacher is miscast and underwritten, and there is no balance in the movie because of it, on the one hand you have the weight of day-lewis, with nothing to play against it, making the entire finale illogical, and impotent.

Agreed

#21 Posted by EuanDewar (4908 posts) -

I like the movie a lot but the music is easily the best part.

#22 Edited by Seb (361 posts) -

I'm finished!

#23 Edited by mellotronrules (1192 posts) -

That is actually the worst scene in the movie because just when you get really touched by Daniel going from cynicism to actual anger and regret when he realizes that he has abandoned. his. child, when it's over he gets up with a smirk and says something like "there's the pipeline!" as in he just got what he wanted.

but to me that was the whole point- much like the preacher with the arthritis, you have this charismatic outpouring of emotion that's intended to win the hearts and minds of the local populace, whereas the film audience is left with the knowledge that the entire exercise is disingenuous and is only performed to further selfish needs. there probably is an element of earnest emotion there, but it's almost entirely snuffed out by plainview's self-admitted 'competition' within him.

#24 Posted by mellotronrules (1192 posts) -

@hh said:

the preacher is miscast and underwritten, and there is no balance in the movie because of it, on the one hand you have the weight of day-lewis, with nothing to play against it, making the entire finale illogical, and impotent.

really? i'm of the entirely contrary opinion. i thought he was well acted and served as a worthy adversary to plainview. he certainly never left me wanting for a better performance.

#25 Edited by HH (609 posts) -

@mellotronrules: it's not so much the performance, as anderson's vision of the character to begin with, for me what the character amounts to doesn't warrant the importance he is given in the story.