PTA's true next movie was a documentary about some Radiohead solo thing or somesuch (no watchy). So, here we have TWBB, five years after Punch Drunk Love. So clearly he got kind of burned on Magnolia, came back with quick, lighter fare inspired by his love of Fiona Apple, and then it took 5 years for him to go back to something more ambitious.
I remember I saw it in the the theater (which I guess is true for all his films), liked it a lot, never saw it again. It's a mark of how old I am that I think of a movie that came out 14 years ago as "recent". Getting past middle age means always being confused about how long ago stuff was.
It's 2 hours and 40 minutes long and I'm not planning to watch it all at once. I am sort of liveblogging while it's on.
With the mining, as a safety professional: total nightmare. The correct safety protocols are NOT in place. Working alone, improper PPE etc.
But right away, I'm loving it. Yes, strident score but I'm getting goosebumps at the oil discovery scene. Love that it's silent for the first 15 minutes but in a way that's necessary (it's all about physical labor) and not showy (although it's showy, too). DDL's speaking voice is a fun surprise and also Paul Tompkins is in this (but I think he had one line)
I'm on the second or third well death well: this movie is basically about occupational safety.
I stopped liveblogging and then just watched the rest. I really remembered very little of this movie, just "I drink your milkshake" oil wells, plaintive score.
I had remembered way more Johnny Greenwood musical shenanigans but they weren't so bad.
This movie has two of those PTA showstopper scenes: the baptism and I drink your milkshake. They are both delightful. Eli is a wonderfully loathsome character. I guess they could have cut the brother subplot and it could have been about two hours, but it was entertaining so...
Long story short: loved it!! Second to Boogie Nights so far.
Now I again feel I should read the Upton Sinclair it's based on, but I've never had anyone say they read it or recommend it. Only the first part of the book was factored into this adaptation.