Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Dillon Freasier, Ciarán Hinds
Paul Thomas Anderson (Screenplay), Paul Thomas Anderson (Director)
Released: December 28th, 2007
Runtime: 2 hours, 38 minutes
When ruthless oil prospector, Daniel Plainview learns of oil-rich land in California that can be bought cheaply, he moves his operation there and begins manipulating and exploiting the local landowners into selling him their property. Using his young adopted son to project the image of a caring family man, Plainview gains the cooperation of almost all the locals with lofty promises to build schools and cultivate the land to make their community flourish. Over time, Plainview's gradual accumulation of wealth and power causes his true self to...
It leaves me wanting for something more fulfilling even if I try to appreciate it as is. Plainview didn't fill his stage as sapiently as Charles Foster Kane filled his, in my opinion.
It's visually ingenious, the story is full of depth and tackles many interesting themes, the characters (and especially the main character of Daniel Plainview) are marvelously sketched, the dialogues are memorable, the acting performances are sublime and the story takes unexpected and daring turns, which is (almost) always a good thing.
HW, Plainview's adopted son, is the lone source of hope and optimism in the film. He overcomes his limitations in hearing by learning sign language. HW manages to escape Daniel Plainview's murderous wrath to start his own oil rig in Mexico.