There will also be: greed, husksterism, rage, isolation and open-handed brawls.
The Castro Theatre recently hosted a sneak preview of this film, which is slated for limited release in mid-December. Based on Upton Sinclair's 1927 novel Oil!, Anderson's latest film features Daniel Day-Lewis as David Plainview, an unpredictably violent and spiritually aimless oil-baron-in-the-making. Shot in the desolate landscapes of New Mexico and Texas, made all the more uncanny by an eerie score composed by Jonny Greenwood of Radiohead, the film chronicles 20 years of Plainview's life as he goes from fast talking dealmaker to a full fledged tycoon reminiscent of Citizen Kane.
A definite departure for Anderson, this period film still carries his distinctive dark humor and attraction to troubled characters. As Plainview snatches up plots of barren land and drains the black oceans that lie beneath, he continually runs into an equally fast-talking young preacher played by Paul Dano (from Little Miss Sunshine). Their wild and acerbic dealings are the spirit of the film and bring out the best in Plainview's otherwise opaque exterior.
The genius of this film is how problematic, and often disturbed, Day-Lewis's character is, and yet, you can't help but like him. And of course it's shot beautifully with untamed sweeping skies and burning oil fields. If you love PT Anderson, you're going to see this no matter what we say, but you will not be disappointed and you will not be able to predict what happens next. If you're ambivalent about Anderson but love a big meaty film that resonates with great filmmaking like Once Upon a Time in the West and McCabe and Mrs. Miller, go too.
Preview clip of There Will Be Blood above. SFist Grace, contributing.