A psychologically troubled novelty supplier is nudged towards a romance with an English woman, all the while being extorted by a phone-sex line run by a crooked mattress salesman, and purchasing stunning amounts of pudding.
Paul Thomas Anderson
Philip Seymour Hoffman
The intersecting life stories of Daniel Plainview and Eli Sunday in early twentieth century California presents miner-turned-oilman Daniel Plainview, a driven man who will do whatever it takes to achieve his goals. He works hard but also takes advantage of those around him at their expense if need be. His business partner/son (H.W.) is, in reality, an "acquired" child whose true biological single-parent father (working on one of Daniel's rigs) died in a workplace accident. Daniel is deeply protective of H.W. if only for what H.W. brings to the partnership. Eli Sunday is one in a pair of twins whose family farm Daniel purchases for the major oil deposit located on it. Eli, a local preacher and a self-proclaimed faith healer, wants the money from the sale of the property to finance his own church. The lives of the two competitive men often clash as Daniel pumps oil off the property and tries to acquire all the surrounding land at bargain prices to be able to build a pipeline to the ... Written by
Huggo / edited by statmanjeff
Daniel Day-Lewis based his voice for and characterization of Daniel Plainview in part on old recordings of the director, writer, and actor John Huston. An article by Christopher Goodwin in the Sunday Times (of London) revealed Paul Thomas Anderson sent Day-Lewis documentaries about Huston while Day-Lewis was preparing to play the role. See more »
When Eli enters Daniel's office to ask about the blessing, as he starts to sit down his hands are starting to tent together, but when the camera changes his hands are at his side and when only after he sits down does he tent his fingers. See more »
PT Anderson's name already means something, or I should say something else. His self assuredness alone gives me shivers. A modern artist with such clear and severe vision of the world. Boogie Nights, Magnolia, even Punch Drunk Love have an Wellesian disregard for what's in or out. His films are landmarks that may infuriate some, confuse others and mesmerize the rest of us. Here, with the rigorous tale of an impervious oil man, PT Anderson outdoes himself. He has Daniel Day Lewis as his accomplice in a performance that would be as difficult to match as it is difficult to describe. There is a monstrous beauty here that not even a broken nose can disguise. The saga is filled with long silent moments of tension that take place in a cinematic canvas and an actor's head. PT Anderson must have known that this was going to be, not only not a mainstream opus but a hard pill to swallow. I for one stand up to applaud his daringness.
165 of 272 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?