Sunday, February 3, 2008

Not Since Wells

Not since Orson Wells defined the title role in Citizen Kane have I seen a performance like the one delivered by Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood.
Not since Robert DiNero in Raging Bull have I seen such a complete portrayal with such power, such intensity.
Not since the silent era have I seen a film that delivered long stretches of scenes packed with punch but without a word spoken. The whole first portion of the movie (which is critical to the story itself) is presented without dialogue. When words are spoken they are simple, flat and spare, like the land itself.
This is a big movie - a sprawling saga. But it also plays out intimately and personally. There are scenes where a look, the movement of an eye, the lift of an eyebrow or some small movement telegraphs so much.
There is so much tension in this film - and so much restraint. And so characters and scenes are played out in a tight and coiled manner. But they are played out against a vastness of time and space. It's positively hypnotic.
Bravo to everyone involved!

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