I've Abandoned My Boy
I was surprised to find that the following clip is online. It contains easily the best acting of 2007, and it is the reason that Daniel Day-Lewis should win the Oscar. This scene, which also perfectly sets up the finale of There Will Be Blood, reveals a great deal about Daniel Plainview and his personality. We watch as he at first resists his conversion, then accepts it in the hopes that it will be over soon. He reacts with anger to Eli as he shouts "I've abandoned my son," and he seems like he might cry as he wails "I've abandoned my boy." These emotions are able to present themselves simultaneously in Day-Lewis' performance. Even in the moments before, when Bandy holds out Plainview's flask, his look shows hatred for the bottle that has put him in this situation and yearning to escape via that same bottle. This isn't the showy acting that so many complain about at the end of There Will Be Blood. This is solid lived-in acting, the sort that deserves awards but usually doesn't win them. Of course, Plainview gets the last word in this scene with his hilarious "Yes I do." This is a marvel of acting.