I couldn't help seeing some resemblances of my father in Daniel Plainview, and his favorite fountain pens clipped to his breast pocket also reminded me of my grandfather's pocket protector. Perhaps there's some Irish blood in me after all and the resemblance of a wealthy profiteer from Texas is all in the actor's features. The main character in this film is Daniel Plainview who has an objective to triumph in the oil business, but he has a vengeance that surfaces in his negotiations between other large organizations which literally take him for a ride, what I call extorting. But the plight of the oil man still reverberates that old adage my father used to advise his children during our childhood rearing years: 'whatever you do in life, be the best' which in turn happened to be something his boss Frank Acuña told him.
Suzie from her library days
Originally uploaded by NMEfoofoo
Of course, I screwed that bit of wisdom probably just to rebel, but I see it more like pursuing a career the way the undecided college student constantly changes his major declaring "undecided" to his counselor. I'm sorry, but I couldn't wait for the WGA strike to end before starting to watch movies again, especially now that David Letterman is taking his crew of writers back on the air. The radio actually announced that the Late show would go back on full staff while other late shows would wing it.
The story by Upton Sinclair spans several years. A work related injury early on gets emphasized effectively by Daniel Day-Lewis toward the end in his delivery of arthritic affected limbs. What is Daniel Day-Lewis trying to say by returning to film after being on hiatus for such a long time, at a time during a strike? Did you know he'd been quoted as saying that The ballad of Jack and Rose would be his last film?
The film received an R rating from the MPAA for strong language. I don't know how the film will be received by an audience watching it on FCC governed networks. I enjoyed this film for its depiction of growth in one of the most valuable natural resources in the world. I honestly thought that digging a whole deep enough into the ground would eventually produce water, a resourcefulness one might use if ever caught in the desert. I thought the end of this film was cute, but that would be my dark side talking. Nobody really wants to hear about Suzie's funny way of declaring the completion of a job assignment, but they're Daniels last lines just the same.
I thought the film was going to be long but there wasn't an intermission where people could make a pit stop, stretch their legs, grab a glass of wine, chat it up with others about what transpired in the film so far. I dunno if a nationwide release will keep it at this original 2hr 40min length. It's a movie well worth preparing for by limiting your popcorn order to a small coke. And drinking it slowly. Or grabbing your seat at the last minute after all the trailers are over.
In this film Paul Dano may have defeated any stereotype he may have stigmatized himself in Taking lives. Yet, he seems to fit roles for withdrawn characters who hold secrets that might destroy anyone within a short radius of his immediate stretch quite well. Here is an actor who is fun to watch in scenes with Daniel for the sheer purpose of interpreting his characters' perspective on a profiteer's next move.