A vaguely dissapointing evening at the Oscars for one of this decades masterpieces.
Paul Thomas Anderson is a maverick of his trade. His newest offer, There Will Be Blood, garnered Daniel Day-Lewis his second Academy Award last night for Best Actor at the Oscars (his first was for My Left Foot, 1989), while the film itself narrowly missing out (undeservedly I believe) on Best Film to No Country For Old Men, which also saw Joel and Ethan Coen beat P.T Anderson to Best Director (again, undeservedly in my opinion.) One might even say that There Will Be Blood is P.T Anderson’s best yet, a tag the retail DVD may in fact carry. And when you consider that his work portfolio includes the wonderful Boogie Nights, Punch Drunk Love (a film where Adam Sandler isn’t actually annoying) and the brilliant, brilliant Magnolia, you can appreciate it when people speak of Anderson as an autuer this early in his career.
Yet perhaps the greatest travesty of the Oscars this year was that There Will Be Blood’s score, by the engimatic and brilliant Johnny Greenwood (probably better known as Radiohead’s lead guitarist) did not qualify in the category because part of it was sampled. Anyone who has seen There Will Be Blood could testify that the score was literally rivetting, manifesting a dark, brooding undercurrent to every scene, keeping the audience so tense they may have been leashed; Little Boston, California was no Pleasantville. Perhaps the score’s exclusion can serve as another example of “how the Academy simply can’t keep up with the times” – it was a sure fire bet that it would have nabbed the Oscar if it was legible – especially considering some of the nominee’s for Best Score in the past few years.
Again, did No Country For Old Men deserve that many Oscars?