Friday, January 11, 2008

No Country For Children

An epic film about the economy of farming.

When a group of humans treat food like a commodity, grow it, lock it up and sell it back to themselves...

...There will be blood.

Daniel Plainview and Eli Sunday are the Kings born of agriculture, who have extended the mindset of farming into oil prospecting and religion.

Daniel Day-Lewis plays Daniel Plainview an oil man who promises his band of greedy fellow prospectors money, schools and the greatest prize: bread.

And what does Plainview want? To win.

His evil twin, Eli Sunday, played by the wonderful Paul Dano (the despondent boy in Little Miss Sunshine) is a hypnotizing preacher who wants power and an audience.

These two characters play a game of wits in a stark frightening landscape and soundgarden where every tense minute of the movie feels like something more horrible than the last minute is about to occur. That the actor Paul Dano could ever come close to matching Day-Lewis's crafty, fiesty youthful oil man is a credit to his acting chops. There Will Be Blood's portrait begins with a strong lucky man, even attractive in spirit and will, but slowly becomes a muddy oily meaner twin to Citizen Kane. That the movie twins other movies and stories is it's strength...(and it's weakness)and twins have a significance within the movie that I don't fully understand yet...why does Paul Dano play twin brothers? Why does one of these twins disappear? What is the significance of this or is it a gimmick?

Day-Lewis's character has an adopted son...and if it weren't for this boy and his courage I don't think a lot of viewers would stay to the end of the movie.

Several people behind us hated the movie...they thought it was "non-sensical". I was laughing because this movie has stripped down anything confusing about it's metaphors or parables. I think a great many things could be written about this movie and Iraq, or greed, or sociopathology, or corporate greed and it's patsy: religious fundamentalism.

I can imagine some audiences rejecting the slow stunted pace of this movie...but I found it completely compelling. If you didn't like The Proposition you probably won't enjoy this movie. It begins at the epilogue to the novel Blood Meridian with a man "striking the fire out of the rock that god put there" and the pace does not usually pick up from there...it's as if everything that follows has been forced and manipulated. The soundtrack is absolutely incredible. As it should be, it was written by a member of one of the greatest fucking bands...Radiohead's guitarist, Jonny Greenwood. I'm in trouble Stagg wants to get the soundtrack ha! and I don't think I could ever listen to it again it was so un-nerving especially combined with the beautful art direction of Jack Fisk. (he's done art direction on all of Terrence Mallicks films, and Mulholland Drive, Carrie) Although the movie credits a book by Sinclair called Oil I have no doubt that the director has read Cormac McCarthy...and I think an article could be written that the movie interprets the short epilogue of Blood Meridian.

Jonny, get ready for your Oscar soundtrack acceptance speech! You rocked this movie!

The mountains filmed and married to haunting screeching drones of music and tragic impending accidents are reason enough to see this movie. Perhaps an Oscar nomination should go to the oil in this movie. It is filmed with close-ups lovingly and becomes a character in this fascinating film.

Among evil is a tiny little starlight. A wee baby. As this baby grows we move farther away from the seduction of Daniel Day-Lewis into the spirit of Dillon Freasier who plays the nine year old son of Day-Lewis's malignant sociopath. No one can win against this monster...but like one of Cormac McCarthy's books, No Country For Old Men...the only way to win the game is to walk away.

If this no country for old men or children just who exactly can live here?

Slice of bread anyone?

11 comments:

Red said...

This is the new Paul Thomas Anderson film, right? Sounds good. Is it a return to form after that abortion that was Punch-Drunk Love? I loved Boogie Nights and Magnolia.

And don't you think that Paul Dano was born to play Elliott Smith in a bound-to-happen-sooner-or-later biopic? Maybe Gus Van Sant will direct...

Candy Minx said...

Hi Red, yep...I should have said that Paul Thomas Anderson directed this film. If you didn't like "Punch-Drunk Love" I don't think you'd like this one...it's even quirkier and slower. But WAIT! Because I don't mind the pace of "There Will Be Blood"...and guess what? I loved "Punch-Drunk Love". I realize tons of people hated P-DL but I thought it was wonderful...the music, the characters and strange love story. One day I watched it three times...just for the sheer colours and energy of the movie. Oops, sorry! But Stagg was a huge fan of "Magnolia". Yes, I can see Paul Dano as Eliot Smith no prob! He's an amazing actor to hold his own on screen as sniveling fellow con artist to Day-Lewis.

Candy Minx said...

I should also mention that another character in this movie was the oil...it bubbled and slurped and oozed like the blood from planet earths veins...

tweetey30 said...

Looks interesting. I have wanted to see No Country for Old Men.. Just havent gotten around to it.

FOUR DINNERS said...

Heard a lot now want to see a lot.

Checkin' me cinema's around here.

mister anchovy said...

ya, we liked this one a lot too.

The Gal Herself said...

I've only heard good things about this movie, but this is the first time I've heard anyone single Paul Dano out for praise. Haven't seen it yet, but I will when it opens near me. I would love to see that poor, tortured, silent teenager as a hypnotic preacher!

Gardenia said...

I too want to see this - great post, Candy. I have been thinking of bread too - being sold after processing the germ, bran, etc., out of it. That is sort of like giving us back the toxic by-product of a chemical process. Then we can get diabetes and give the drug making companies our money. Leave it to corporations to think that one up!

Amanda said...

Just came across this while doing some research. It's "its," not "it's," for possessives, just so you know for future posts and writings. Because otherwise you're quite intelligent!

Anonymous said...

I've learn several excellent stuff here. Definitely value bookmarking for revisiting. I wonder how so much attempt you put to create this type of wonderful informative site.

My website: same day payday loans

Anonymous said...

I want to to thank you for this fantastic
read!! I absolutely loved every little bit of it.
I've got you book marked to look at new things you post…

My site :: helpful resource