There Will Be Awards

I miss reviewing movies. There was a period in my life when I was seeing 2-3 movies a week. I saw the good. I saw the bad. I saw “Weekend at Bernie’s II.”

 But life has a way of putting the kibosh on movie-viewing (at least movies that I really want to see). It’s not that I didn’t enjoy Enchanted and Aquamarine, but there simply wasn’t enough action, fistacuffs, or explosions to suit my taste.

Now, when I see movies, I have to be more selective, because my trips to the megaplex are fewer and further between. I’ve missed seeing a lot of shows in the theater and have to catch them on DVD, which is like listening to a football game on the radio. Not quite the same. 

One movie I did make a point to see in the theaters was “There Will Be Blood.” I’ve always been a huge Daniel Day-Lewis fan (did you know he was considered for the role of Jesus in Mel Gibson’s The Passion of the Christ?) ever since My Left Foot and still consider his performance as Bill “The Butcher” Cutting in Gangs of New York as one of the best I’ve ever seen. Adrien Brody was amazing in The Pianist, but Day-Lewis should have won. What a powerhouse performance.

Speaking of which, “There Will Be Blood” may be the best movie I’ve ever seen. Now, let me clarify what that means. It doesn’t movie I loved the movie. In fact, I’m not even sure I liked it. “Blood” is not the kind of movie that you like, at least not in the same way you like “Die Hard Like a Fruitcake” or “Rocky XIX: The Colostomy.” Some movies you like, some movies you love; “Blood” is a movie you simply experience.

The movie is so grand in scope and reach that the only word that can describe it is epic. The cinematography is epic. The score is epic. The story is epic. And the performance of Day-Lewis as oil entrepreneur Daniel Plainview is the epic-est (new word for ya!).

Day-Lewis has a way of morphing into a character so completely that you forget you’re watching an actor. He so becomes the grizzled, hard-hearted Plainview that you feel like you are watching a documentary instead of a work of fiction. his performance is haunting and I still find myself thinking about it (even more so when I see the latest commercial for the film with Plainview screaming “I abandoned my son” with severe vein-popping intensity). It may be the only movie I didn’t like that I want to see again.

If either the movie or Day-Lewis don’t win, next year’s Oscar statuettes should be given with grocery bags over their heads. No movie comes close to matching the storytelling and vision of “There Will Be Blood” (“Juno”? C’mon!), and no performance, this year or any year, measures up to Day-Lewis.  

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