Film: Academy Awards: "There Will Be Blood"


The Story About the Movie

Film Synopsis

Release Date: December 26, 2007

Cast: Paul Dano (LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE), Ciaràn Hinds (ROME, MARGOT AT THE WEDDING), Kevin J. O’Connor (VAN HELSING, THE MUMMY) and newcomer Dillon Freasier

A sprawling epic about family, faith, power and oil, THERE WILL BE BLOOD is set on the radical frontier of California’s turn-of-the-century petroleum boom.

The story chronicles the rise of one Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), who transforms himself from a down-and-out silver miner raising a son on his own into a self-made oil tycoon.

When Plainview gets a mysterious tip that there’s a little town out West where an ocean of oil is oozing out of the ground, he heads with his son, H.W. (Dillon Freasier), to take their chances in dust-worn Little Boston.

In this hardscrabble town, where the main excitement centers around the holy roller church of charismatic preacher Eli Sunday (Paul Dano), Plainview and H.W. make their lucky strike. But even as the well raises all of their fortunes, nothing will remain the same as conflicts escalate and every human value – love, hope, community, belief, ambition and even the bond between father and son – is imperiled by corruption, deception and the flow of oil.

THERE WILL BE BLOOD is the fifth film from writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson (PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE, MAGNOLIA, BOOGIE NIGHTS, HARD EIGHT). Anderson’s screenplay is loosely based upon the classic, 1920s muck-raking novel Oil! by Upton Sinclair. Academy Award® winner Daniel Day-Lewis heads a cast that includes Paul Dano (LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE), Ciaràn Hinds (ROME, MARGOT AT THE WEDDING), Kevin J. O’Connor (VAN HELSING, THE MUMMY) and newcomer Dillon Freasier.

Anderson and his frequent collaborators JoAnne Sellar and Daniel Lupi produced THERE WILL BE BLOOD. The executive producers are Scott Rudin, Eric Schlosser and David Williams.

The film features cinematography by long-time Anderson associate and Academy Award®-nominee Robert Elswit, ASC (GOOD NIGHT AND GOOD LUCK); production design by Jack Fisk (THE NEW WORLD, MULLHOLAND DRIVE, THE THIN RED LINE); costume design by Mark Bridges (MAGNOLIA, BOOGIE NIGHTS) who has worked four times previously with Anderson; editing by Dylan Tichenor, A.C.E. (THE ASSASINATION OF JESSE JAMES BY THE COWARD ROBERT FORD, BROKEBACK MOUNTAIN, THE ROYAL TENENBAUMS) who also edited MAGNOLIA and BOOGIE NIGHTS; and a resonant score from Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood. ABOUT THE PRODUCTION

“There’s an ocean of oil beneath of our feet. No one can get at it except for me.” -- Daniel Plainview

THERE WILL BE BLOOD joins a pantheon of American motion pictures that explore the powerful confluence of ambition, wealth, family and the magnetic lure of the West. Paul Thomas Anderson’s fifth film plunges the audience into an astonishingly raw and real turn-of-the-century California and revolves around one unforgettable character:

Daniel Plainview, a rough-and-tumble prospector who transforms himself and an entire town through oil. As he ascends from a rugged miner to an imperious tycoon, in the mold of such historical oil pioneers as Edward Doheny and John Rockefeller, Plainview will bring progress and riches to a land that has never known them, at a cost that will blacken his very soul.

As portrayed by Academy Award®-winning actor Daniel Day-Lewis, Daniel Plainview is a man whose charm, aspirations and uncompromising obsession with remaining self-made will stir up a maelstrom in the Central California town of Little Boston. As oil gushes up from the ground, Plainview will bring changes of operatic sweep to this insular world – pitting belief, hope, love and hard work against cynicism, greed, seduction and monstrous corruption.

Shot in Marfa, Texas where the legendary oil-themed GIANT was filmed decades ago, Anderson and a devoted cast and crew have crafted a symphonic tapestry of images that appear to come to vivid, visceral life right out of a sepia-toned photograph -- yet are completely original and intimately specific to Daniel Plainview’s meteoric rise and bloodcurdling descent.

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Oil! (Paperback)

Author: Upton Sinclair

From Library Journal
Sinclair's 1927 novel did for California's oil industry what The Jungle did for Chicago's meat-packing factories. The plot follows the clash between an oil developer and his son. Typical of Sinclair, there are undertones here of socialism and sympathy for the common working stiff. Though the book is not out of print, this is the only paperback currently available.
Copyright 1997 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

The New Republic
"He does his little bit of muck-raking. . . but the glorious story of the oil man and his son rushes on. It is a marvelous panorama of Southern California life. It is storytelling with an edge on it.

• Paperback: 560 pages
• Publisher: Penguin (Non-Classics) (December 18, 2007)
• Language: English

There Will be Blood DVD (2007)

Unmistakably a shot at greatness, Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood succeeds in wild, explosive ways. The film digs into nothing less than the sources of peculiarly American kinds of ambition, corruption, and industry--and makes exhilarating cinema from it all. Although inspired by Upton Sinclair's 1927 novel Oil!, Anderson has crafted his own take on the material, focusing on a black-eyed, self-made oilman named Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis), whose voracious appetite for oil turns him into a California tycoon in the early years of the 20th century. The early reels are a mesmerizing look at the getting of oil from the ground, an intensely physical process that later broadens into Plainview's equally indomitable urge to control land and power. Curious, diverting episodes accumulate during Plainview's rise: a mighty derrick fire (a bravura opportunity that Anderson, with the aid of cinematographer Robert Elswit, does not fail to meet), a visit from a long-lost brother (Kevin J. O'Connor), the ongoing involvement of Plainview's poker-faced adoptive son (Dillon Freasier). As the film progresses, it gravitates toward Plainview's rivalry with the local representative of God, a preacher named Eli Sunday (brimstone-spitting Paul Dano); religion and capitalism are thus presented not so much as opposing forces but as two sides of the same coin. And the worm in the apple here is less man's greed than his vanity. Anderson's offbeat take on all this--exemplified by the astonishing musical score by Jonny Greenwood--occasionally threatens to break the film apart, but even when it founders, it excites. As for Daniel Day-Lewis, his performance is Olivier-like in its grand scope and its attention to details of behavior; Plainview speaks in the rum-rich voice of John Huston, and squints with the wariness of Walter Huston. It's a fearsome performance, and the engine behind the film's relentless power. --Robert Horton

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