Daniel Plainview is an oil prospector and fortune soon smiles upon him with a major oil find. There is a sacrifice paid when one of his workers dies in an oil rig accident leaving behind his small boy. Plainview decides to take this boy as his own and raise him. Some years later, a young man comes to Plainview’s office and offers him some valuable information about the location of a possible huge find of oil. Here is where he will be pitted against nature, his fellow-man, himself, and god.
This movie clocks in at almost two and a half hours but is well worth it. The cinematography is absolutely beautiful and every scene looks completely authentic. They do a fantastic job convincing you that you are experiencing America as it was between 1898 and 1927. To complement great visuals comes a subtle but compelling sound track. Never over-bearing or out-of-place, it helps set tone and feel for every scene. Even with a slow start, the movie holds your interest. You’ll find later in the movie that so many little things were setups of things later to come, some obvious and other not as much. I won’t speak for the historical accuracy of the film but it did an excellent job to show the struggle and drive of people during those times.
Great stories need great actors for a movie to be great as well. Daniel Day-Lewis delivers a stellar performance. He did win an Oscar for Best Actor in a Leading Role in 2008 for his part in the film and deservingly so. It wasn’t the make up that made his transformation through time make his character show age. Day-Lewis brilliantly used mannerisms and voice to convey not only his characters age but also his ferocity. His facial expressions throughout the film could have won him the award by themselves.
If you have Netflix then this is a must watch as it is available right now. After you watch it, you will be very drawn to watch it again and maybe even have it to own for the ridiculous price of less than $8 from Amazon. This is a movie that I want to watch again just in case I missed anything and so that I can experience it again.