There Will Be Blood (2007) Director: Paul Thomas Anderson

Paul Thomas Anderson's tale of America's oil boom in the early 1900s is quite frankly oustanding. Extraordinary. An epic. It deserves to be up there amongst some of the greatest films ever made. In fact, it is difficult to pinpoint exactly why it is so immense but I'll start at the lead character - ruthless oil man Daniel Plainview - and his portrayl by Daniel Day-Lewis who quite rightly won an Oscar for this role.

Daniel Plainview isn't a nice man. He is one of the stand-out villians in contemporary cinema. This is a man, so desperate, so selfish and so focussed on his quest to be rich and an oil baron, that he will murder, corrupt and even reject his deaf adopted son. Daniel becomes rich but he is ultimately alone and this becomes evident towards the conclusion of the film where he sits in his vast home, hunched up and an alcoholic, pathetic and with no-one to love. There is a key moment of exquisite tension when Daniel turns to his adopted son, who does not know that he has been adopted as his real father died in an oil accident, and tells him that he is just 'a bastard from a basket'. It's horrific.

Also amazing is Paul Dano's character of preacher Eli Sunday. He brings an almost comedic element to this tense film and his tussles with Daniel, both verbal and physical, are greatly played out. To say exactly what happens in their final tussle of the film would be a spoiler but Eli, 'the false prophet', ends up with more than oil on his face.

The cinematography, again which quite rightly clinched an Oscar, is exceptional; beautiful, lingering shots across 1900s California, the moment of terror when the oil explosion robs Daniel's son of his hearing and Daniel takes steps to control the disaster, the almost Western feel of some of the ranch shots and through the town of Little Boston. You feel part of it. You want to be part of it.

I am a fan of Paul Thomas Anderson's work - Boogie Nights, Magnolia, etc... - and this is the best he has done. He is a true visionary. Add in the magnificent performance by Daniel Day-Lewis and the support from Paul Dano and you have the closest you can get to perfect cinema.

5/5 popcorn bites