Lists are great. They inspire discussion, create arguments, and tend to spiral off into fun new lists. When you do a list about the “BEST” of anything it goes from being fun to becoming a hotbed for arguments. There’s no such thing as a definitive list but I’ve decided to pull from my rather extensive life of film watching and put it to good use.
This is not the “film critic’s top 100” list. There’s no guarantee Citizen Kane or The Bicycle Thief will be in the top echelon or even on the list. This is the 100 movies I would put my name on as my top 100. If I died tomorrow this would represent the 100 films I find most vital, special, or ones that bonded to whatever it is that makes me me. I’m not including documentaries, though that might make for a nice supplemental list.
The first 80 will be in no particular order. The last 20 will be in very particular order. One a day, you have my word.
#41 – There Will Be Blood
Why is it here:
Note: Remember that the first 80 are in no particular order.
Daniel Plainview is one of the most iconic and dimensional characters in film history. A lot of that goes to Daniel Day-Lewis and a lot of that goes to Paul Thomas Anderson. Either way, he’s a cunning, evil, greedy, all-time great character and his story is one for all eyes and ears to experience along the way of becoming a true disciple of film. The movie became inexplicably famous for a scene late in the film where Plainview discusses the intake of a milkshake but in reality the whole morality play is loaded with moments that earn it a high place on lists like these. Truly stunning. Truly brilliant. Truly batshit. And Kevin O’Conner is in it, which only makes There Will Be Blood more vital.
Moments to savor:
Bowling alley. First oil. A well goes bad. A little boy learns a trade. Any soliloquy delivered by Daniel Day.
This is great and Paul Dano is in it. That’s a Herculean accomplishment.