1. ‘There Will Be Blood’ – 2007
This film by Paul Thomas Anderson has only grown in adulation since it was released, including being named the top movie on “The 25 Best Films of the 21st Century (So Far),” by the New York Times in 2017. If the 2008 Academy Awards were held again, this film likely would take home the Best Picture award. That’s not a knock on the Coen brothers and their amazing movie No Country for Old Men, but There Will Be Blood has reached legendary status a decade after its release.
Playing fictional oil man and prospector Daniel Plainview, Day-Lewis gives an intense, tour de force performance that is simply stunning on all counts. The climax of the film culminates in one of the most intense scenes Day-Lewis has ever shot—and allows him to give one of the most memorable line readings in the history of film: “I drink your milkshake! I drink it up!” Day-Lewis screams at Paul Dano’s feeble, desperate preacher character.
Day-Lewis won a slew of awards for his role, including his second Academy Award for Best Actor, as well as the Golden Globe Award for Best Actor – Drama, and BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Leading Role. For all the amazing work that Day-Lewis has done in his career, this might be the performance that people will remember the most for.
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