Saturday, February 23, 2008

"There Will Be Blood" but "No Country for Old Men"




Both of these films are pretty phenomenal, but I think There Will Be Blood has real staying power. For me, No Country for Old Men ultimately boils down to an experiment in top-notch suspense storytelling that is bogged down by a deeply unsatisfying third act and inessential characters.

There Will Be Blood, on the other hand, feels like a complete package with which I only have very minor grievances. Coming out of the theater, I just had a sense that this film will find a place in theory classes across the globe. And perhaps the true mark of a great film: images from the movie continue to stay with me, weeks after viewing.

MINOR SPOILER ALERT

Actually, I think I will air two of my minor grievances with the film. 1) I was confused about the relationship between Paul and Eli for nearly the entire show. I thought "Paul" was just an alias Eli used. I guess not? 2) [Colin pointed this out to me and it has bugged me since] Plainview makes several threats against a rival oilman, but unlike his other threats, doesn't follow through. Feels like a loose thread.

2 comments:

Daniel said...

With respect to your first point, Paul Dano was originally cast as the more minor role but PTA was so impressed he made them twins. Though I agree, it is confusing (deliberately so or not, I couldn't say for sure).

patrick said...

just saw no country for old men; it's unassumingly unconventional and yet (thankfully) never over the top...