There Will Be Blood

MPAA Rating: R

Entertainment: +3

Content: -4

Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Ciaran Hinds, Kevin J. OConnor. Drama. Written & directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.

FILM SYNOSPSIS: A sprawling epic about family, greed, corruption, and the pursuit of the American dream, There Will Be Blood is set in the booming West coast oil fields at the turn of the 20th century. The story follows the rise of prospector Daniel Plainview (Day-Lewis) who becomes an independent oilman after hitting it rich with the strike of a lifetime. As the story progresses, we experience the depth of his soulless nature. Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, the film is inspired by Upton Sinclairs novel Oil!

PREVIEW REVIEW: Though award givers will be paying tribute to its elaborate storytelling, both from an artistic and technical perspective, once again we are presented an Oscar hopeful determined to reflect the sourest notes of human behavior. There are two main characters. The filmmaker does his best to spotlight one of them as a snake oil hypocrite Christian, without including even the slightest portrait of someone else living a life of religious devotion. This leaves the audience with the assumption that those who follow Christ are either phonies or morons. The other lead character hates mankind with a passion that would make Scrooge cringe. What the film doesnt give is any clear-cut moral. Dysfunction is not just spotlighted, it is given prominence over every other aspect of the human condition. It seems to be a dominant theme in most serious films this year.

DVD Alternative: Giant. Elizabeth Taylor, Rock Hudson and James Dean (his last film) give exceptional performances in this sprawling version of Edna Ferbers novel about life on a big Texas spread. Unlike There Will Be Blood, which shows evil without repentance, Giant exposes bigotry and prejudice, with the lead character becoming a better man by films end.

Preview Reviewer: Phil Boatwright
Paramount Vantage

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Several crude and hostile remarks from the lead.

Obscene Language: I caught no obscenity other than a few minor expletives (damns & hells).

Profanity: Two uses of Gods name followed by a curse.

Violence: Several violent images, including men harmed in oil well accidents; a man is beaten to death with a blunt instrument; a man is slapped around in a church service; other mean-spirited attacks; the lead commits a couple of murders. Blood: We see red, paint-like blood oozing from the dead mans head as he lays lifeless on the floor.

Sex: One scene takes place in a bordello, but there are no graphic sexual situations.

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: None

Drugs: Drinking by the lead throughout; some social drinking; a boy is given alcohol to make him sleep.

Other: A minister is played as a weasel-like character, hes as bad as the lead, devoid of any true loving nature (not a good trait in a pastor); in order to cover up a crime of murder, the lead agrees to humiliate himself in a church in a fake conversion this scene was played for laughs, but came across as blasphemous.

Running Time: 158 minutes
Intended Audience: Adults

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