Saturday, June 17, 2017

Not the greatest movie of the 21st century

Normally I only post about movies that I enjoy and recommend. My son and I recently watched There will be blood.  We were motivated partly by the recommendation of the New York Times that it is the greatest movie of the 21st century (so far). The lead actor Daniel Day-Lewis won an Oscar for his performance and it has been widely acclaimed by many. Although there are dissenting voices such as Peter Walker in the Guardian who picked it as the most-overrated film.

Why don't I like it? It is slow, very long, tries too hard to be arty, and there is a complete absence of any characters with redeeming qualities.

Why does it have so much appeal to some?
Some of the scenery and cinematography is creative and engaging. It does show the emptiness of the main character as he seeks wealth and power and avoids any emotional engagement and self-reflection. There are somewhat interesting contrasts and similarity of his juxtaposition with a charlatan Pentecostal preacher. But this is only worthwhile if you like to spend almost three hours hammering home the point emotionally that the life of such people is shallow, forlorn, empty, and in the end, they come unstuck.

There are two other "great" "classic" movies that I have never been able to understand their critical acclaim: Citizen Kane and Gone with the Wind.