I give it four milkshakes out of five.
There’s really only one reason to see this movie. It’s not for director Paul Thomas Anderson. He CAN be a great director, and he can also be terrible. “Boogie Nights,” for example, was brilliant. “Magnolia” was a piece of crap.
And it’s not for the music, even though I’m a huge fan of Jonny Greenwood — he’s from Radiohead, one of the greatest bands in music today. I thought the music was great, inventive and interesting, but I hear from others they found it irritating.
No, the primary reason to see this flick is the jaw-dropping performace of Daniel Day-Lewis. He inhabits this character in an uncanny way. Director Anderson made a wise choice in making sure every scene, even if Day-Lewis’s “Daniel Plainview” is not the one speaking or doing the action, was focused on him. With any other actor, this would have gotten boring fast, but with Daniel Day-Lewis, you cannot take your eyes off the screen.
My only complaint is that the film is about a half-hour too long. This would have been a perfect film if trimmed just a bit. But I think this will always be a problem with Paul Thomas Anderson — it certainly was with his “Magnolia.”
But Daniel Day-Lewis’s performance alone makes this an absolute classic. Go see it if you haven’t already. I drink… your MILKSHAKE! I drink it UP!