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  When Daniel Day Lewis won the Best Actor Oscar last week it was pretty much conisdered an obvious winner, and having watched this film I can see why.

  Day Lewis plays the role of Daniel Plainview a prospector who starts off the film looking for silver but finds oil and from there his power trip begins. Soon he winds up in a small town with his young son and partner HW, using his persuasive charms on the locals to buy up their land to pump the oil that is literally seeping out of the ground.  Unfortunatley for Plainview he comes up against local preacher Eli Sunday,(Paul Dano) who wants the best for his family and flock of churchgoers. The tension between these two becomes a game of cat and mouse with each trying to pull the wool over the other. From the here the story goes off in various directions which it would spoil it to tell you.

  This is a really different film, and a strange experience to watch. If you’ve seen a Paul Thomas Anderson film before, you know it won’t be a normal Hollywood flick and this is no different. Take the first 20 minutes of the film, there is nearly no dialogue, we watch Plainview digging away in dark hole looking for what will make him. What help makes this work is Day Lewis’s acting which is magnetic, you can’t stop watching him, as he manipulates everyone to get what he wants, through his greed. Paul Dano,as Eli  Sunday who you will remember as the mute son in Little Miss Sunshine, is the perfect foil to Plainview, who is not afraid of him but thinks he is getting to Oil man but then gets it turned round on him.

  As well as the acting a big part if the film is the amazing score by Johnny Greenwood, from Radiohead. His score is stunning, and it was ridiculous that it wasn’t nominated at the Oscars on a technicality, the score is more like a horror movie but fits the style of the film perfectly with a real sort of Kubrick tone to it.

  Paul Thomas Anderson is a man who likes to create images and he certainly did with this film, the cinematograhpy by Robert Elswit is beautiful especially the shots of the open country it is set in, and an amazing shot of an oil well burning turning the day into night.

  Overall this is a real experience of a film, film critic Mark Kermoude said it best when he recently said that while watching the film you have no idea where it is going, and thats right. It is not the usual Hollywood product and because you don’t know where it will end you get more drawn into it. It maybe a long film but you don’t notice and that is a good sign. If you get a chance catch it on a nice big screen. Rating 8/10

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