Monday, March 03, 2008

A fortnight at the oscars

I'm off nicotine and caffeine because of a migraine that's drilling away at my skull - without my daily fix of coffee and ciggies, my hands feel heavy, so I'll keep this brief.

My ratings for the following academy award nominated movies:

No End in Sight -3/5
Juno – 1/5
Michael Clayton – 4/5
The Counterfeiters (Austria) in German – 4/5
KatyƄ (Poland) in Polish – 2/5
Mongol (Kazakhstan) - 2/5
The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford – 3/5
The Golden Compass – 1/5
There Will Be Blood - 5/5

Of all these movies, only one warrants talking about in my fragile state - Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood. It stars Daniel Day Lewis as Daniel Plainview, and is one of the best character portraits since Robert De Niro did Raging Bull.

It's a period movie - centered around the early 19'th century, when oil was being discovered in America. The movie follows the rise of Daniel Plainview - who starts off as a miner, and ends up as an oil tycoon. By no means is this a cakewalk - it calls for treachery, artifice, and cunning, all of which Daniel has in spades.

By no means is this a personal struggle story like The Pursuit of Happyness - Daniel Plainview adopts a sweet faced kid so he can embed family values in his sales pitch, and exploits the ignorance of landowners who underestimate the value of oil beneath them. While drunk, he admits to his half-brother that he has a competitive streak and hates seeing other people happy. This isn't a guy you'd wanna root for, but you do.

Eli Sunday, the other heavyweight in the movie has a con-game too, he's an evangelical preacher for the Church of the Third Revelation, the only impediment to Daniel's will to power. The final showdown between Plainview and his nemesis - Eli Sunday is hilarious, morbid, and epic.

A final note on the sound effects of the movie; even on my computer speakers they sounded pretty eerie, and should be mindblowing on the big screen.

1 comment:

choyon said...

Did you really think No country for old men was that good? It seemed pretty filmi with a less than satisfying conclusion.