: There Will Be Blood
I didn’t like this as much as I expected — perhaps the positive reviews got my expectations too high. (There’s no question in my mind that the amazing No Country for Old Men deserves the Best Picture Oscar.) My dissatisfaction comes from the fact that story doesn’t seem to have much of a point. The plot reminds me a lot of Citizen Kane except that there’s no frame around which to find depth and meaning. Instead we merely have the story of a poor gold-digger in the late 1800s who discovers oil and connives his way to into buying oil-filled land undervalue so he can be even wealthier. The richer he get, the less morality he has. A key conflict in the story is the awkward battle between him and a local religious leader, a character so over-the-top as to be obviously flawed (he’s a morally bankrupt mirror of the rich oil guy), but I found the conflict forced, trite, and wanting. Much more compelling for me was the relationship of the oil man with his adopted son who goes from beloved to pariah after an accident leaves him deaf, and the oil man’s frustration at not being able to control the boy. Overall we’ve got a mediocre story with some fantastic characters portrayed by some brilliant actors and some incredible direction and camera-work, yet the pieces don’t quite add up to the expected total. Don’t get me wrong: this is a great movie, well above the average, but it falls just a step short of the greatest I anticipated. It is still well worth seeing, however, and I highly recommend it. Just don’t expect it to cure cancer and change your life.