The Keith & Movies Valhalla Induction: “There Will Be Blood”

MT OLYMPUS

The Keith & the Movies Valhalla is a place of tribute for those movies that I hold in the highest regard. These are films that embody everything that is great about motion pictures. These are the best of the best – movies that I truly love and that stand above the rest. There are many great movies that won’t find their way into these sacred halls. But here you will find those films that I believe personify brilliance in filmmaking, storytelling, and entertainment. These glorious 5 star accomplishments are worthy of special recognition as the very best. Ok, enough of the high drama! In other words, these are my favorite movies of all time, ok?

BLOODFor me, no movie is driven by a more brilliant and quite frankly perfect performance than Paul Thomas Anderson’s “There Will Be Blood”. From the moment Daniel Day-Lewis appears on screen Anderson’s grimy period vision begins to flourish before out eyes. Day-Lewis’ work here is mesmerizing and a prime example of why he is our greatest working actor today. Channeling his best John Huston voice, Day-Lewis stunningly portrays one of the most vile yet compelling movie characters ever. I can’t imagine any working actor being able to pull it off so well.

But while the lead performance is the true highlight for me, there is more to love about “There Will Be Blood” than just that. Anderson’s script is crisp and razor sharp and it gives Day-Lewis plenty to chew on. I also love all the things that bring this region specific period picture to life from the flawless cinematography to the unnerving score. Paul Thomas Anderson puts together an amazing motion picture experience that I can watch over and over. For me it’s clearly Anderson’s best film. But I’ll go even further. It’s one of my favorite films of all time so its place in the Valhalla is well deserved. What a gem!

“There Will Be Blood” is the sixth inductee into the Keith & the Movies Valhalla. But there are more amazing movies to come in the near future so stay tuned. What are your thoughts on this Paul Thomas Anderson new classic? Is it worth the accolades it’s received or is it an overrated picture? What about the performance of Daniel Day-Lewis? You now know my opinion. I’d love to hear yours. Please take time to share your comments below.

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33 thoughts on “The Keith & Movies Valhalla Induction: “There Will Be Blood”

  1. A Movie that I admire more than love. Day-Lewis is marvelous as always, but I keep thinking there has to be something more to the story. It is compelling but it seems so microscopic that I don’t think it goes past the experience we see. I don’t get a sense of theme or point of view past Daniel Plainsman’ s megalomania. The point seems to be buried so deep that it is hardly worth digging for. I loved the soundscape and the cinematography. The history of California oil will never be portrayed more colorfully. I can’t object to it’s elevation here, but as the sixth movie to reach the hall it seems that it took a shortcut past others that might deserve to be there first. Still it is your Hall, and you can sneak films in the side door before others come in the main entrance if you want.

    • Oh I disagree my friend. I think this one marches right into the front door with one of the most enthralling character studies I’ve seen. I think Anderson deals with so many different things. The hypocrisies we get from Dano’s character. The emptiness that a life of self-centeredness and greed can lead to. Watching Plainview’s slow but eventual breakdown. I thought all of that and more was brilliantly realized in this film. No side door treatment from me. 🙂

    • Oh and just the point of clarity, the order in which movies make the hall carries no significance at all. I never really thought to clarify that. I should have. There are several movies that I like better than this one that will see their way in in due time.

      It is kind of odd that there’s no rhyme or reason to the placement. 🙂

      • Is there a regular pattern for your decisions, monthly or by anniversary or maybe you just rewatch something and say, shoot, that should be in the hall? My joke about the side door is merely a observation that there is a long line and I’m curious about the process.

      • It’s really odd but there isn’t a pattern or timetable. It would make more sense if there was. Basically I try and do these every now and then. I don’t really want it to fill up to fast.

        I already have about 5 or 6 other films already chosen for induction. You do have my thinking about a better reason behind when I induct a new film. As it is I’m just flying by the seat of my pants! LOL!

  2. I kind of already know the ending, and what happened to Paul Dano (poor guy!!) but I’m still curious to see DDL’s performance here, more so than in Lincoln actually. Glad it got your stamp of [high] approval Keith!

    • Oh it’s a must see. As good as DDL was he’s Ben better here. Dano certainly got a tough deal but lets just say he isn’t the guy you may think he is. 😉

  3. A very worthy inductee. I’ve only seen it once, this year in fact, but that was enough for me to decide it is one of my all-time faves. I’m sure that next time I watch it I will appreciate it even more. Superb story, direction and performances.

    • I’ve probably seen this flick around seven or eight times. I just love it. 2007 was a tremendous movie year for me. In fact, of the six inductees so far, two are 2007 films – this one and No Country for Old Men.

  4. I have to say I don’t love the movie, but I only saw it once. I think I’ll check it out again soon because I don’t think I got all the things people appreciate in it.

  5. Nice, Keith. Very nice inclusion here. I’m surprised that this made an appearance so soon but I can’t argue with it in the slightest. Absolutely outstanding film and one the finest performances ever commited to the screen. Day-Lewis is mesmerising and deserved all the awards and accolades that came his way. He’s one of my top three actors for very good reason. Unfortunately the film itself didn’t receive the same recognition in awards terms but the neither her nor there. It’s still a classic.

    • I knew you would love this one bro. My wife will attest to this – I love this film. As for its early entry, there really is no rhyme or reason to the inductions. There are other movies that I like more that have yet to make it. I’m basically going by how I feel at the moment. For me, it’s a great time to put this one in. It’s so good and I agree with you, it’s a classic.

  6. Alright, let me just say it and be done: I have not seen this. It has been on a watch list, but after reading this I really think that it is high time that I got to it! Such a nice write up!

  7. Perfect Pick, Keith! I show the opening scene with DDL as he digs his hole and injures a limb and then the oil strikes–that gritty, Paul Thomas Anderson realism is loud and captivating. That there is no score in the background makes it all the more real. It was a cold and hard world and DDL is my hero because of the film.

    • Glad to hear you love it too. It’s such a fine film isn’t it? DDL absolutely takes his already fine acting to another level. He gives a master class on how to act. Brilliant!

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