Thursday, January 31, 2008

There Will Be Blood

Set in the California oil boom
of the late 1880s–early 1900s, Paul Thomas Anderson's movie is epic and grim, and Daniel Day Lewis's performance as Daniel Plainview is colossal. But it's the soundtrack that knocked me out. It's unbearably tense, and it never lets go. Think Bernard Hermann's score for Hitchcock's Psycho, only more modern and less melodic.

iTunes describes it as "...more primal than music. The rumble of a fault line. The ominousness of a dust storm. The terror of a thousand hissing asps.... Whether this soundtrack is a brilliant accomplishment because it intensifies the film's every moment or because it stands next to the film as its own work of devastating shock and excitement is a tough call."

Composed by Radiohead guitarist Jonny Greenwood, it scared the living daylights out of me, even when nothing significant was happening on screen. I spent a lot of time hunkered down in my chair with my fingers in my ears. Fantastic. Its ineligibility for an Oscar nomination this year is a crime.

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