Non-Critics: “Blood” a Little Bloodless


“There Will Be Blood” continued its media good fortunes over the weekend, winning best picture from the National Society of Film Critics. I must say, though, that most of my friends and acquaintances who’ve seen the movie (a group that is fairly wide-ranging) can’t bring themselves to warm up to it, and on, which measures both audience and critical response, there are fourteen current films that have higher ratings than “Blood.” This more-lauded-than-loved effect could torpedo the movie’s chances of winning the Best Picture Oscar, since “No Country for Old Men,” “Atonement,” and “The Diving Bell and the Butterfly” all seem to be movies that many people, including Academy members, have genuinely warmed up to. Whatever the real (not critics’) response to “Blood,” there’s no question that there is universal praise for Daniel Day-Lewis (pictured). Most of the people I know who don’t love “Blood” tend to agree with the overall assessment of it by the San Francisco Chronicle’s reviewer, Mick LaSalle, who wrote: “There should be no need to pretend ‘There Will Be Blood’ is a masterpiece just because [director Paul Thomas] Anderson sincerely tried to make it one.”

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