THERE WILL BE BLOOD
(Paul Thomas Anderson)
Paul Thomas Anderson came out of the '90s boom of independent filmmakers taking on Hollywood. being a contemporary to the likes of Quentin Tarantino and Steven Soderberg, Anderson has matured with each of his projects. His first film, Hard Eight (1996), received little distribution due to friction between Anderson and the producers. It remains an underrated, and underseen, gem. His next project looking at the porn industry of the '70s, Boogie Nights (1997), brought him to the public's attention as well as receiving solid critical notices. It is considered one of the strongest films to come out of the '90s and put Anderson on the map. His next film, Magnolia (1999), an epic, multi-narrative drama focusing on the intertwined lives of residents in the San Fernando valley, was a critical success and has found a strong audience since. His assured direction and skill at maintaining a large narrative has made him a darling of critics and audiences alike, and it came as a surprise that he went for a small-scale comedy starring Adam Sandler, Punch-Drunk Love (2002) following the epic structure of Magnolia. Punch-Drunk Love became a cult hit and was successful in Europe, with Anderson shaping a commendable performance out of Sandler. His next was an epic in both scope and theme: There Will Be Blood. It became an instant American classic, with Anderson slowing things down and focusing on the complex, and deeply troubled oilman Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis) as he develops a rivalry with the almost insane preacher Eli Sunday (Paul Dano). Many view it as a horror film and it's hard not to find the reasons why. Plainview's decent into madness is similar to Jack Torrence's demise in The Shining (Stanley Kubrick, 1980). It is one of the greatest films ever made and we're glad it made the list.