Monday, April 7, 2008

I guess I want to write about going to see There Will be Blood. I told someone that I was always moved by the scene often seen in clips and promos where Daniel Day Lewis cries out "I have abandonned my son". This person said to me "well there a lot more than that". And there is. First there are sweeping epic scenes like the steam train arriving at the end of the line in this tiny place where nothing grows, or the oil derrick, or the fire, or the explosion that puts it out. And then larger than life acting on the sort of scale we don't see much of these days. Men struggling and crying and losing their moral compasses in order to make their marks. There are few women in the film and I was glad I saw it alone, unworried by thoughts of whether my wife was enjoying it, which she might not have. Indeed I was almost alone in the theatre. There was one other man there as we had come to one of the last public showings before the DVD release on a Sunday morning at the new AMC theatre downtown, where all the projection is digital. I could not tell any difference except that it looked the same as a completely clean print. The photography was at times magical, the score inspired, a mixture of this guy from Radiohead and Brahms and the acting was universally excellent and in Daniel Day Lewis extraordinary, unlike Wells in Citizen Kane (to which the film has rightly been compared), he created a character that was at once repulsive and comprehensible, so that I was horrified and yet anguished by his pain. I cried unrestrainable tears about five times. I laughed some and I was swept away a lot. In short, a perfect film in my book.

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