Religion, Fuel, Fathers, Sons, Egomania, America: A Look Back at “There Will Be Blood”

Five years ago, on September 27, Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood screened for the first time. And a sure-thing Best Actor Oscar-winner came into... plain view. Daniel Plainview, to be precise. Playing the ferocious "oil man," Daniel Day-Lewis lived up to his reputation. Some thought the film might win Best Picture — it was easily my choice at the time, only recently surpassed by In the City of Sylvia — but it lost the award to another nightmare about evil in America: No Country for … [Read more...]

Nothing Compares to You

Cinematical posted this scene today, and I'm going to post it merely to demonstrate that there is nothing... nothing... in Oscar's Best Picture category this year  to compare to the acting, complexity, and achievement of Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood.Still one of my favorite films of all time, and a brilliant work on the corruption of power in religion, politics, and business. … [Read more...]

Reader mailstrom, 8/15: “Learn to Think Critically” about “There Will Be Blood”

Welcome to Reader Mailstrom, a chronicle of stand-outs from the daily maelstrom of Looking Closer email. Most of these letters are real. Some of them are amalgams of a variety of messages. Some of them are what I read between the lines of the things readers really wrote.-In response to my review of There Will Be Blood: You have a staggering misconception about the world around you if you can watch a movie like There Will Be Blood and not see it as a critique of your faith. If you have … [Read more...]

Brian Volck Discovers “There Will Be Blood”

Brian Volck saw There Will Be Blood for the first time on DVD.That's too bad, as it was a riveting big-screen experience.But Volck does not appear to have suffered much. He was, to borrow the term my friend Brandon Fibbs employed when he first saw the movie, "gobsmacked." … [Read more...]

Psycho, Killer, Bigot, or Saint? Christians in the Movies in 2008.

It's 2008, and I'm still waiting to see if any brave filmmakers out there will dare to introduce a Christian character who isn't a mass murderer or a psychopath. … [Read more...]

Michael Leary’s Film-think; “No Country” Re-examined

Nobody I know takes the question "What is Christian film criticism?" more seriously than Michael Leary. And so I'm thrilled to find him starting up a new site ... film-think where he's posting his thoughts on movies.Check out recent posts on … [Read more...]

Is “There Will Be Blood” Anti-Christian?

I've been trying to ignore this, but Movieguide's Ted Baehr just keeps bashing away at Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood for being "anti-Christian," and for including "one of the worst, most superficial stereotype of Christian preachers ever put on film."(Similarly, Barbara Nicolosi slammed the movie in a post called "There Will Be Bigotry", which you can find in her archive here... but you have to scroll down a bit. The 105-comment discussion connected to it became rather lively … [Read more...]

The Oscars, and How to Pick a Real Winner…

Who will take home those golden chunks of cheese tonight? … [Read more...]

The Void Within Daniel Plainview

Steven Shaviro, who applauds Daniel Day-Lewis's performances as Daniel Plainview in There Will Be Blood, poses an insightful rebuttal to Stephanie Zacharek's critique of that performance.In doing so, he deepens my appreciation of Anderson's latest masterpiece even further, and inspires enthusiastic comments. … [Read more...]

Bad Dialogue? Or Real History?

Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood, my favorite American movie of 2007, is being bashed for all kinds of reasons.Some criticisms tell us more about the reviewer than the movie. … [Read more...]