32 TOM's Film Club: There Will Be Blood (2007)
Date & Time: Tue 6 Feb, screening starts promptly at 8pm (doors 7.15pm)
Call the Box Office (Mon-Fri, 1pm-5pm, 01273 201 801) to buy: £10 film saver (valid for two different TOM's Films), £24 season pass (valid for all TOM's Film Club SPRING
Often cited as one of the best films of the 21st century so far, Paul Thomas Anderson’s magnificent oil-prospecting saga There Will Be Blood gave Daniel Day-Lewis perhaps his most iconic screen role as the unsympathetic Machiavellian oil tycoon Daniel Plainview, a role for which he was bestowed a second Oscar for Best Actor.
Appearing in all but two scenes throughout the film’s two-and-a-half-hour runtime, Day-Lewis based a lot of his performance and characterisations on the drawl and mannerisms of John Huston, one of America’s great auteurs. Set primarily during the first quarter of the 20th Century, the first fourteen minutes of the film are dialogue-free as Plainview perilously mines for silver, but instead strikes “black gold,” thus beginning the start and fall of Plainview’s empire and infamy. After receiving a tip-off of some land prime for oil drilling by Paul Sunday (played by Paul Dano), Plainview sets to visit the good people of this land in the guise of “a family man” to buy their trust and then their land, mainly through his use of scheming, false promises and an adopted son/prop called H.W. However, the local young priest of the land (Eli Sunday, played again by Dano) has other ideas, and hopes that Plainview will fund a new church through his exploits, thus starting decades of conflicts and compromises between the two opposing figures and the oil-rich town between them.
With the visually resplendent and apocalyptic cinematography of Robert Elswit (who was also a recipient of an Academy Award for his work on the film) and an extraordinary orchestral score composed by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood, it’s little wonder many people regard it as the Citizen Kane of our generation, not only because it shares many of those themes of greed and corruption, but much like Orson Welles’ magnum opus, it will be studied in film schools and revered as a masterpiece long after its release.
Duration: 2 hours 38 mins