Posted on Friday, February 29th, 2008 by Hunter Stephenson
The following review contains spoilers and touches on topics and themes from the film, There Will Be Blood, which may prove unsettling for some readers. This review is long as hell because TWBB is long as hell, but it is also one of the best films ever made and the best film this decade.
The fact that Paul Thomas Anderson‘s American epic, There Will Be Blood, did not win an Oscar for Best Picture or Best Director says nothing about the film’s quality and inarguable stature as a masterpiece, but much about how we deal with an artist who swims out to the mark of greatness and madness, leaving the rest of us behind.
When an artist, rarely a director, does this it overwhelms and scares us. We practically expect the Jaws theme to begin its maniacal cue and watch the unknown devour him. Anderson, who previously directed the cool but slightly manipulative and hyperactive Boogie Nights and Magnolia, does nothing to alleviate our concern for the unhinged artist; his ever-focused stare dances more and more with an alarming expanse and he brandishes a smirk that sort of says “Oh really? Fuck off.” Luckily, from afar, these traits make him that much more interesting after viewing his first masterpiece.