The Beginning of Something Extraordinary

Check out these two links.
Thanks to Overstreet’s blog for alerting me to this.

They each offer different perspectives on Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance in “There Will Be Blood.” The latter offers a rebuttal to the former, and as I read through each of their commentaries, my heart began to swell with the sense that I was witnessing history in the making. The next time I see “Blood” in theatres (and I will see it again – I’ve already seen it twice) I have a feeling I’m going to be looking at it in a whole new light.

THIS is the Citizen Kane of the 21st Century. I don’t care who you talk to or ask, this film will be talked about for decades to come. And when I compare it to Kane, I’m not saying they explore similar themes or are similar inherently (though in some ways they obviously are), but what I am saying is that it is already having a revolutionary effect. People, very smart people, disagree passionately about the movie. It’s not the kind of thing where people bicker about small differences like plot inconsistencies or too much CGI, but the deeper kind of disagreement, the kind that ignites critics all over the country and spreads like wildfire. Whenever I read an analysis of the film or one of the performances, I see something new, and I’m astounded that I didn’t notice it before.

This film is astounding, amazing, groundbreaking, and truly, truly great. I cannot wait to see it again. Twenty or thirty years from now, when I’m talking to friends, or my children, or just some random kids, I’m going to be able to say, “I was there. I was in the heat of it all.”

To see the birth of such a masterpiece, to be liberally swimming in its glorious oil, is a feeling like none other. If I live to be one hundred years old, I don’t think I’ll ever forget There Will Be Blood or even when I first saw it.

When you go to this film, the reactions of the crowd are fascinating to watch. Parts that are not funny in the least, that are meant to be terrifying and psychologically mysterious, are parts that the audience that I was with roared with laughter at. This film unseats people. They don’t know what to think of it. The insanity and wild abandon and complete incomprehensibility of what goes on onscreen is so terrifying, so mind-boggling that defense mechanisms shoot up all around the theatre and people try to laugh it off. And then when there’s that final moment of terribly bloody smashing surprise, the theatre goes instantly quiet, the credits roll, and many people are left feeling dumbfounded, frustrated, and in my case, amazed and astounded.

When audiences and critics encounter something truly new, the reaction is almost always negative. As much as some critics may like to champion that they would love to see something new, when they actually do, they don’t know what to think. It’s baffling.

Mind you, I’m not saying I’m smarter or more educated than most critics. The movie baffled me too. It’s one of the reasons I liked “Southland Tales” more than most. (And that movie a lot more people hated.) Just because I had never seen anything like it in my entire life. But “There Will Be Blood” is an entirely different kind of monster. It displays some truly masterful directorial swishes and signatures, and PT Anderson is an unequivocal genius. It’s mind-blowing.

If you haven’t seen “There Will Be Blood,” go to, look up movie times, and leave your house right now.  You will be amazed.

I love film.


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