Would-be deep-dish filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson evidently intended this saga of a devouring early-20th-century Southern California oil baron (played to the hilt by Daniel Day-Lewis) to be some sort of allegory about capitalism run amok - but what we see is a carefully composed, less than compelling art film, a stretched-out actors duel between Day-Lewis Daniel Plainview and a young fire-and-brimstone country preacher named Eli Sunday (Paul Dano from Little Miss Sunshine). Day-Lewis inexplicably portrays the intimidating prospector with a distracting John Huston accent, so Dano wins the trophy by default. Back to the drawing board for director Anderson (Boogie Nights, Magnolia), who loosely adapted the screenplay from Upton Sinclairs novel Oil. Costarring Dillon Freasier and Ciarán Hinds (158 min.).
Director: Paul Anderson
Producer: Paul Anderson, Daniel Lupi, Joanne Sellar, Scott Rudin, Eric Schlosser and David Williams
Cast: Daniel Day-Lewis, Paul Dano, Kevin O'Connor, Ciarán Hinds, Dillon Freasier, Sydney McCallister, David Willis, David Warshofsky, Colton Woodward and Russell Harvard