“There Will Be Blood”: Drink It Up

There Will Be Blood

“When’s he going to drink the milkshake?”

I spent most of the two-and-a-quarter hours leading up to the instantly iconic milkshake rant in Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2007 film There Will Be Blood asking myself that question. Even as I was paying attention to the extraordinary feats of performance and cinematography, marveling at Anderson’s command of the sprawling epic form and gaping at his horrific portrayal of early American industrialism, I found myself waiting for the scene I knew was coming.

Such is the experience of watching an acclaimed movie years after its cultural moment has passed. It’s happened to me recently with Bridesmaids and in the past with countless other movies.

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