There Will Be Blood
This is a story of individual obsession—the most original and compelling Western in a year of Westerns: so new, so bleached of conventional beauty and so alienating (thanks in part to a nerve-jangling score by Radiohead’s Jonny Greenwood) that it might as well be set on Mars. The narrative follows the imposing, slippery, increasingly satanic Plainview, who learns from runaway Paul Sunday (Dano) that land with oil can be leased cheaply in the town of Little Boston, California. Little Boston’s Bible-thumping residents—and particularly Paul’s preacher twin brother, Eli Sunday (also Dano)—are happy to take low prices to fund their church. As for Day-Lewis’s performance, sometimes the only two words that will do are holy shit. A short documentary on the DVD drops some knowledge on the historical importance of oil, for those of you who are into 1920s stuff.