Just got back from seeing There Will Be Blood. This is a movie that has been getting rave reviews from everywhere and is already being called one of the very best movies of 2007. Every reviewer that puts this at the top of his best movies list needs to be ignored from here on out.
This is a painfully dull movie from start to finish. It’s two hours and 38 minutes long and was boring after the first five minutes of that. At the end three people clapped and several others hissed them down.
Here’s the type of movie this is: It shows us a shot of two people driving in a car. So far so good. The shot is from a short distance away so you know who is in the car but can’t really see anything else. Still okay. The car drives along the road. Okay. No one says a word. Hmm. No one moves a muscle but the shot continues, seemingly for a minute. What? Car driving uninterestingly along a road….. Why? Why must we see this image for so long? An argument has been made that this sort of shot is needed to convey the era and set the tone. Gee, and here I thought the subtitles and the surroundings would have pulled that off.
Much has also been made of the exemplary acting. I don’t get it. I respect Daniel Day Lewis. His work in movies like In The Name Of The Father is second-to-none. This was something else entirely. He clearly is imitating someone and I’ve heard it was possibly the late director, John Huston. Frankly I don’t care who it was. The result was distracting and annoying. He spends half the movie bent forward and craning his neck with a scowl on his face that gets old after ten minutes. I thought the idea of acting was for it to be invisible to the viewer. This is anything but that.
There’s also a large number of questions that go entirely unanswered in this movie. Fans will denote that this is part of the allure. My view is you can’t have it both ways. Either the movie takes forever to lay out the pieces or it doesn’t. You can’t take a minute to show a car painfully driving along the road and then entirely skip major plot elements.
If this film wins as best movie of 2007 something is very wrong with the award. Go take a nap and save your money. The random dream you have will likely be more entertaining.