Note: Go here and participate in RW's little questionnaire on reading, um, stuff. NOW! - Earl
Am I the only person around who wasn't enthralled with one of last year's Oscar darlings, There Will Be Blood? Academy Awards for Daniel Day-Lewis and for Best Cinematography plus a whole boatload of additional nominations including Best Picture. As of this writing it has been voted on by over 57,000 users on IMDB for an average rating of around 8.5 out of 10 which places it at #45 in their Top 250 films of all-time.
All-time? You have to be kidding me! I know that user-run sites like IMDB often have incredibly skewed results to their polling, but this film was universally loved by film-goers and critics alike.
I watched it over the weekend, and I thought it was merely OK.
And I'm kinda sick of Daniel Day-Lewis, to be honest. He's a talented fellow, to be sure. But does he need to get nominated for everything he does? I thought his turn in Gangs of New York was incredible, but it bordered on the verge of overacting. I thought that he crossed that border in this film with his portrayal of oil man, Daniel Plainview.
You know, his career is beginning to remind me of Al Pacino. Once upon a time, Pacino was a marvelous actor. Then the Academy awarded him for his monumental piece of overacting in Scent of a Woman, and he's been doing it ever since. Let's hope Mr. Day-Lewis avoids this trap in the future. I know he's ridiculously devoted to his craft...some might say maniacally devoted, but there is such a thing as nuance and I thought he lacked any of that in this role. It's the difference between "larger than life" and, well...Godzilla.
Daniel Plainview, portrayed with John Huston-esque bravado and gravitas, was too un-likable and ultimately too boring for me to find interesting at all. I found myself not caring about him, his son, the town, the preacher and just about anything at all in the film. I know it wasn't supposed to be a summertime feel-good hit, but I've got a dark side too that likes depressing films. And my dark side was bored to tears with this one.
I did enjoy one performance in the film. The usually comic/manic Kevin J. O'Conner as Henry was a real pleasant surprise. He usually gets to play the sidekick/comic relief in some semi-big action/adventure films, and it was nice to see him lower the boiling point and really act in this one. Kudos to everyone's favorite "Tooch".
As vampire Willow said on more than one occasion on Buffy the Vampire Slayer, "Bored now".
PS - I didn't feel like looking for a pic of anything to do with this movie, so you get vampire Willow. Get it? There Will Be Blood...vampires...Allyson Hannigan. No? Crap! - Earl