If only we still had writers and actors who mirrored the sensibilities of early Hollywood. Alfred Hitchcok's Notorious is a wonderous trip in Miami and Rio filled with suspense, intrigue, and the brillant talents of none other than Cary Grant and Ingrid Bergman. The last shot in the film is well worth watching the whole thing for.
Unfortunately I'm writing this long after watching Paul Thomas Anderson's There Will Be Blood. It's inevitable that in my quick summation I will leave a great deal out from my initial reaction. While artfully constructed and brilliantly performed I was bored and irritated during the majority of the film. The score detracted greatly by attempting to be so different. I wanted there to be someone to root for, someone with any form of redeeming quality, someone who could take a stand. In the end, the audience is left with nothing. You've been struggling for hours and you're broken. There is one film of quiet evils that I can point to that makes it worth all the darkness. The Shawshank Redemption brings you through the other side in its final minutes that makes the whole journey that much sweeter. I know it's probably unfair to compare the two films. After all, The Shawshank Redemption is one of my favorite films of all time. I suppose I'm just an optimist at heart and the emptiness I felt after There Will Be Blood was distasteful.