Set in the early 20th century, the film follows the rise to power of Daniel Plainview -- a charismatic and ruthless oil prospector, driven to succeed by his intense hatred of others and psychological need to see any and all competitors fail. When he learns of oil-rich land in California that can be bought cheaply, he moves his operation there and begins manipulating and exploiting the local landowners into selling him their property. Using his young adopted son H.W. to project the image of a caring family man, Plainview gains the cooperation of almost all the locals with lofty promises to build schools and cultivate the land to make their community flourish. Over time, Plainview's gradual accumulation of wealth and power causes his true self to surface, and he begins to slowly alienate himself from everyone in his life.
Character: Fletcher Hamilton
Co-stars: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson
Run-time: 158 mn
Release date: 26 Dec 2007 (USA)
I have seen so many movies in my 50+ years it isn't often that something different comes along. I loved this movie. I believe it will become a classic. Like Sand & Fog, it was very disturbing. Everything about the movie was fascinating. The lighting, sets, costumes, art direction, everything was so riveting. And the music was incredible. It just created so much tension. Incredible and unique. I was amazed at how long the director would hold the shot and just let nothing happen. Very gutsy. I have lived all my life in California, so the movie held more than an artistic interest for me. When I watched the bonus disk I was amazed at how much the movie matched the look of that time which was still very much alive when I was a kid growing up here. I can remember all the derricks all over the place and thinking, "how ugly," but I knew even at that age that it was all about money. I can remember wanting a derrick of my own. How our perspectives have changed.
Ciarán about his part:
I knew I was in the company of magnificence. A performance like that comes from a deep place within and Daniel had to draw it out of himself every day. What was it like, acting covered in oil? It wasn't really oil. It was a chocolate-based, sticky sort of gunge. It didn't taste too bad. Thankfully, there weren't any bees or wasps in west Texas or we'd have been eaten alive. Source The Guardian
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