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There Will Be Blood (2007)There Will Be Blood (2007)

This film is almost three hours long, and there's not a word of dialogue for the first fifteen minutes, but I could barely believe it when the credits rolled. Based upon the novel Oil! (1927) by Upton Sinclair, the film is set in the wild California frontier at the end of the 19th and beginning of the early twentieth-centuries. Daniel Day-Lewis stars as Daniel Plainview, a silver miner who discovers crude oil on his land, and Paul Dano, who plays a preacher named Eli Sunday who sells rights to the oil on his family's property in order to help his church. Playview and Sunday become moral rivals, and thirty years later, at the end of the film, both characters have been deeply corrupted. Plainview goes mad, whereas Eli admits that he's a fake and God doesn't exist. In an important sub-plot, Plainview's adopted son lives under his father's very dark shadow, and declares at the end of the film, "I thank God I have none of you in me." Plainview's own last words are a confessional understatement: "I'm finished." Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, the film won two Academy Awards — Best Actor for Day-Lewis and Best Cinematography for Robert Elswitt.

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