Welcome to the BMFI Forum for THERE WILL BE BLOOD

adouglas's picture


BMFI is very pleased to be showing THERE WILL BE BLOOD. If you haven't yet seen it, you can visit our website (www.BrynMawrFilm.org) for showtimes. I saw it over the weekend, and it is a tremendous piece of filmmaking--a fascinating and uniquely American story that has at once the intimacy of the most insightful character study and the grandeur and mythic qualities of the most beautiful western.

Screenwriter/Director Paul Thomas Anderson (BOOGIE NIGHTS, MAGNOLIA, PUNCH DRUNK LOVE) used Upton Sinclair's novel, OIL!, as his source material, and, I would suggest, Stanley Kubrick as his filmmaking muse. From the score that combines discordant and at times jarring music with notable classical pieces, to the long, stationary, somber takes, to the segmented nature of the narrative progression, BLOOD is influenced by Kubrick every bit as much as the kinetic BOOGIE NIGHTS was by Scorsese.

A key difference between this film and most of Kubrick's, though, is its heart and humanity, which can significantly be attributed to Paul Dano's (LITTLE MISS SUNSHINE) eye-opening turn, and of course, to Daniel Day-Lewis's monumental performance. Those who say he is always outstanding are correct, but his embodiment of Daniel Plainview is positively mesmerizing.

Please offer your own insights into the film, and share any reactions you might have to THERE WILL BE BLOOD with forum readers.

Andrew J. Douglas, BMFI Director of Education

Serendip Visitor's picture


Enjoy this tribute video:



Serendip Visitor's picture

Parody of this great movie

I absolutely love this movie beyond belief. Daniel Day Lewis does a sterling job, and all the cast around him are fab.


this is the best parody ever !

Anonymous's picture

TWBB understory

>> The idea that Eli comes and has not aged much was interesting. I recall noting that in the film. Also when the servant comes in after Daniel kills Eli, his reaction is not one of surprise or disgust.

Paul is the prophet...the good guy...ELI = LIE. This is a story about how human perception distorts reality...the bad guy is actually the good guy there...Paul is the hero. He kills evil. You can say he's a basturd in business but there's no commandment against lying. He won on the world's terms and never pretended to have some inauthentic relationship with god....he may have had one but it was his..private.

Stanley Kurbrick would've been proud...Paul took great joy when the geyser exploded or when 'laying pipe'.

Serendip Visitor's picture

If Michael Bay directed There Will Be Blood

Check this out for a hilarious insight into what the script would be like if Michael Bay directed TWBB


Anonymous's picture

TWBB understory

I thought it was quite clear. Daniel is the rather large chocolate bar that moved to St Louis and Ely and Paul are the New Orleans Hornets and a small bucket of chicken. The chocolate bar and chicken represent the fear and pain in every day life in India while the hornets repesent love from the Dahli Llama.

It's quite clear. We are reading too much into this movie. It's a great movie about greed, both for money (Daniel) and for attention (Ely).
It is probably one of the best 5 movies of the last 10 years in my opinion, and clearly, the Academy needed to give No Country for old men the award becasue it wasn't profitable enough (even though the box office was bigger that TWBB). And just as clearly, the Academy is llike a high school clique .... supporting some producers becasue they are friends and bashing others becasue they just don't play this silly Academy game.

Hoss's picture

The final scene (spoilers)

The idea that the final scene is a dream or a hallucination is one that intrigues me. At first I ignored the ideas behind it but later on things started to fall into place.

The idea that Eli comes and has not aged much was interesting. I recall noting that in the film. Also when the servant comes in after Daniel kills Eli, his reaction is not one of surprise or disgust.

Although these are not major indicators, I found that the conversation Daniel had with Eli and with Standard Oil in the restaurant interesting.

First, this scene comes after Daniel completely loses everything. Admitting to HW that he's not his father. His speech earlier with his brother explains his desire to win and to beat any competitor out there, and in the end he fully hadn't had his revenge on Eli after the baptism. This is why I feel he is dreaming about finally "caving" his head in.

The idea that Daniel feels he is a complete man of his word shows he is actually a failure there.... he tells the man from Standard Oil that he will cut his throat, and we believe him. So much to the point that in the restaurant we are expecting him to grab the knife and do it right there at the table... but he doesn't. He has his son to show the man he is taking care of his family, but fails... although he says he still is going to do it.

This brings us to the baptism scene. After the baptism, Daniel clearly says something vile to Eli that horrifies Eli (the look on his face). It seems that he tells Eli "I am going to eat you." In the final scene, he is throwing the pins telling him, "I told you I was going to eat you." This dream sequence is happening because it was something he did not do in life.

This final scene is almost what we all do when we walk away from a situation we ultimately have lost in.... we all go home and think, "I should have said this, and it would have been perfect if I did this". This I believe is Daniel getting his final revenge.

While he is telling Eli that he took all of the oil, he is clearly eating a steak with great pleasure. Pulling the meat from the bones, taking the bones out of his mouth. Downing the jug of water... then clearly saying "I drank your water". Water also being the blood of christ. This is why the butler doesn't react. He comes in and nothing happened. Daniel just exacted his revenge that he could not do in real life.

The "I'm finished" to me is really what he says to the butler that he is finished his dinner (steak/meat). But to Daniel he just did what he wanted which was to eat Eli.

I could write more, but maybe I am reading too much into this... I usually don't over analyse films this much. However PTA really does this too me... him and Almodovar... I find myself haunted by there films searching for meaning.

Juliet Goodfriend's picture

The Biblical story within

Knowing that "There Will Be Blood" is from Exodus 7:19 started me on a journey into the symbolism of this movie. Think of HT, the baby left in a basket and orphaned when his father is killed in the first well accident. Is the baby Moses? Like Moses he lives in Daniel, the Pharaoh's midst, an alien (deaf) most of his life, until he rejects the cruely of his father who has tortured him since he was stricken deaf in another well accident.
The notion of water turning to blood was a trick, one of many, that God suggested the Jews use to convince the Pharaoh that theirs was the true God and that if the Jews were not released the Egyptians would suffer. In this film Daniel, the Pharaoah (?) feigns accepting God at the urging of a false prophet --the very man (Paul-Ely) who shows him the way to the oil. But Daniel never believes. For, how could he believe in an obvious charlatan's God. In the end he does unmask the false prophet, and though we may be glad he does, his murderous rage destroys our sympathy with anything positive in his motives.
Now I must study Exodus, read "Oil", and look at some of Stanley Kubrick's movies again to understand more about the filmic muse and the narrative sources of this fine movie.