Seen it before? Yes, kind of...I fell asleep the first two tries watching this film.
Daniel Day-Lewis is a phenomenal actor but he creeps me out much like Christopher Walken and the others I mentioned in an earlier post on this blog. I think the brilliance of this movie is not just the story but the fact that you are constantly in turmoil whether you like the characters, Daniel, Eli, etc or if you hate them. I believe the term for this is that the characters were flawed.
How could you not like Daniel when he took the young H.W. in as his own son when H.W.'s father died in a well while digging? He took care of the boy and raised him. Yeah, sure, he was essentially using the kid to project a "family-man" image, but he did care for the boy and make sure he was fed, and when he lost his hearing, Daniel got an interpreter for his son - after he sent him off to a special school by leaving him on a train...but his right hand man was there with H.W. and then reported back that the room he was in, while sharing it with another student, was actually pretty spacious. Daniel is greedy but good at what he does. He doesn't have a crew rebellion so you get the feeling that he is an okay boss too. As with a lot of greedy people he ends up alone...figures.
As for Eli...a preacher of a church, a dutiful son, but really an a--hole who, like Daniel, is actually quite greedy...but with a pretense that he is a messenger of God and therefore his greed is justified - to the point that he doesn't consider it greed. The church must be bigger and better and more people should come and join the cause of the Church of the Third Revelation. My least favorite scenes in this movie involve Eli...especially when he baptizes Daniel and when he "removes" the arthritis 'ghost' from the old ladies hands...It was great to see Daniel knock him down when he couldn't cure H.W.'s deafness. Eli is WEAK...he even proves it when he says, "I am a false prophet! God is a superstition!"
Would I watch it again? I would over some other PTA movies I've seen...
Would I own it? No
How did I manage to stay up for it? I was playing Bejewelled on Facebook.
Hilarious (and expensive) movie trivia -
While on location in Marfa, Texas, No Country for Old Men (2007) was the neighboring film production. One day, director Paul Thomas Anderson and his crew tested the pyrotechnical effects of the oil derrick fire, causing an enormous billowing of smoke, intruding the shot that Joel Coen and Ethan Coen were shooting. This caused them to put off filming until the next day when the smoke dissipated from view. Both this film and No Country for Old Men (2007) would eventually become the leading contenders at the Academy Awards a year and a half later. -IMDB