In the words of Daniel Plainview in the final scene of There Will Be Blood… I’m finished!
I very much enjoyed revisiting Paul Thomas Anderson’s eight films, some of which I hadn’t seen in many years. Revisiting the work of great auteurs always reveals additional layers, new things to appreciate.
Even so, my overall rankings didn’t shift much. Only three movies changed positions, two going up and one going down. Magnolia suffered the biggest drop, while Phantom Thread made the biggest jump. It’s all just a matter of degree, though. I heartily recommend every one of these films.
If one film in Paul Thomas Anderson’s body of work will go down in history as an undisputed masterpiece, it is 2007’s There Will Be Blood. The movie showed up on more decade-end “best of the 00s” list than any other title, cementing its legacy just a few years after its release. Ten years later, its reputation has only grown.
This is Anderson’s first adaptation (the film is loosely based on Upton Sinclair’s 1926 novel Oil!) and his first film to not tap into his typical stable of actors. There’s no John C. Reilly or Philip Baker Hall. No Philip Seymour Hoffman or Luis Guzman. Instead, he joined forces with the legendary Daniel Day Lewis and 23-year-old Paul Dano to craft a story about two men battling for the soul of America in the 1900s.