Slate Money Goes to the Movies: There Will Be Blood

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S1: This ad free podcast is part of your Slate plus membership.

S2: Hello. And welcome to the there will be an episode of Slate Money goes to the movies.

S3: I’m Felix Salmon of Axios. I’m here with Alison Manski. Hello. And I’m also here with my multitalented colleague, Niala Boodhoo. Nailer, welcome.

S1: Thank you. Thanks for having me. Tell us about yourself. So I have a morning news podcast called Axios Today, which everyone who pays any attention to us knows we are all about smart brevity. So it’s a 10 minute morning news show that comes out every weekday morning. And my background is, as you know, Felix, I am also a alum of Reuters and started in the business world and spent years as a business reporter before I moved into audio and public broadcasting and now podcasting.

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S3: Wow. All three of us have worked for Reuters. All three of us have a background in business journalism. All three of us have watched there will be blood. The twenty seven Paul Thomas Anderson movie, which we are about to talk about. Spoiler alert, we didn’t love it, but it is an interesting movie all the same. Stay tuned for that. And especially for Annette Romanski teaching us all about Christian iconography. Who knew the depths that she had. All that coming up on Slate Money goes to the movies. OK, so Nijole and most of her guests on this mini season of sleep money have picked a film that was dear to their hearts and that they saw in their childhood and has lived in their soul for decades. This is not the case with you. This is not trading places. So had you ever even seen this movie before, like this week?

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S1: I had not seen this before two days ago.

S3: So the first question has to be, what possessed you to pick this movie?

S1: I think Anna actually has a really good answer to this. I’m going to let Anna answer and then I’m going to chime in.

S3: I know what possessed what possessed Nailer to pick this movie.

S4: So before we started taping, we were talking about how I saw this film when it was released in 2007 seven. And I convinced myself I should like it because it was one of these films that became part of the canon and everyone said how amazing it was and then re watching it again. Now I’m like, Yeah, don’t like it.

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S1: Still very much, but it is this canonical film of the last twenty years and that is why I picked it, because it’s always been a film that I thought I should see and then it’s never, I’m never going to pick it, it’s going to be at the bottom of my list. You know, like when you put things on your Netflix list, then that means to me that I’m never going to watch them. That’s where this was, which is why I picked it, because I thought, oh, now I’m really going to watch it.

S3: So I love this idea that it’s a bit like in the olden days when Netflix was DVDs that would arrive in the mail and you had a queue and there were all of these incredibly worthy movies on the queue. And you never quite got to the worthy movies because you’re always like, I’m I don’t want to watch that tonight. This was a forcing mechanism for you. This is your way to force yourself to finally watch this movie. And after having sat through two and a half hours of Daniel Day Lewis being actually what is your final verdict?

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S1: I actually was very impressed in its let me put it this way, I think it’s one of those movies that, you know, is a great film because you’re kind of turning it over in your mind and there’s just a lot to think about and process. And so from that standpoint, I think it’s an incredible thing because of all of the pieces that you want to process, it is not something that is enjoyable to watch. At least I didn’t think it was. So you do think it’s a very interesting to talk about and process.

S3: So one of the reasons, you know, that it’s a great film, you select me when you started watching this movie and now it’s like, yeah, it’s going to take a while until you get to the first line of dialogue, like you have this very auteur ish, serious thing that Paul Thomas Anderson does where you spend like twenty five minutes until anyone says anything, which is always a sign of great seriousness in the movie. He’s not going to get to win the plot any time soon.

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S1: To which I responded to. Yes, it’s just like Wolly. It’s true. Except that while he’s about while he a better movie. You’re right. I completely agree with you.

S3: OK, so this is slate money. So Anna, is an investigation and interrogation of capitalism. How does there will be blood compared to WOLLY, which is also very interesting sort of treatise on capitalism?

S4: Yeah. So maybe I think it’s somewhat of a step back to that question. I would say the two most important things this film is trying to say about capitalism that Paul Thomas Anderson is really trying to say about capitalism. One thing is this relationship between religion and capitalism and in America, this somewhat incestuous relationship where one kind of needs the other one is on top of the other until the end, when capitalism is victorious and ends with the line, I’m finished. Clearly a biblical reference to Christ. It is finished. So that that’s one part of what this film is kind of clearly getting at.

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S3: OK, let me stop you there, because I’m not a Christian. What is this? Christ, it is finished. Yes.

S4: Know, this film is like it’s so overwrought with religious symbolism. The title is An Exodus. There’s a baby in a basket. That’s a Moses reference. The child is anointed with oil. A father forsakes his son.

S1: Even the font is like biblical. The font is like King James font.

S4: Yeah. And then I think the other side of this fits into something that I think you often see in films, American films about business and capitalism, especially dramas about business and capitalism, which is a somewhat of a morality tale. This real suspicion of capitalism, despite the fact that capitalism is the reason that Hollywood exists, but nonetheless and this at the end of the film, the person who becomes very successful must be taken down in one way or another. If this is this film is very similar to Citizen Kane. The ending is this idea that he has to be punished, is punished for his son, who is punished for lack of a film.

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S3: So the idea is that because we are coming out of liberal Hollywood, we paint this portrait of a rapacious capitalist who gets his comeuppance in some way at the end, living alone in some grand expensive mansion that gives him no pleasure.

S1: I think it’s also not subtle, like it’s just that it’s a rather heavy handed message of the costs and the sacrifices that one must make to get ahead in capitalism, in a capitalist society, which is namely, you know, abandoning your son. And, you know, I think the line when he says I don’t like people think it’s kind of like the perfect line. It’s just like I don’t really like people anyway. And then, of course, all these people kind of get killed along the way, but he literally kills. So I have a competition in me.

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S2: I want no one else to succeed.

S4: I hate most people, I think it’s interesting with the idea of him literally killing in this idea of death and people being injured throughout the film, is that the way the music works in this film? It’s like a horror film. You are always waiting for this horrible thing to happen and it tends to come out of nowhere. And the early stages of industrial, the industrial age, you had these very violent industries. I mean, most people who worked in these industries, that was their daily life, that they could die at any day. And even today, working in oil rigs is still actually very, very dangerous. And so I thought that that was something that was interesting. There was an element of the people’s reality at that time was somewhat of a caution, which is I feel like the only I think that’s a very Upton Sinclair.

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S1: Right. Like, I think that’s really the adaptation. When do you think about the jungle or the costs to the everyday worker? I think that’s kind of also what completely hits you over the head with this.

S4: And this is based on very loosely based on like a Sinclair novel, oil exploration, which, you know, I mean, is that you read the novel.

S3: I have to admit, I do not know this novel.

S1: I read The Jungle. Ever read this novel? I think I’ve read The Jungle. That’s the only Upton Sinclair novel.

S4: Everyone’s read every bit of their novel ends with somebody becoming a communist. That is how every episode.

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S3: So this to me was a portrait, as you say, of the much sort of red in tooth and claw period of expansionary capitalism in America. Do you think? I mean, obviously it’s correct in terms of the physical dangers that were attendant with that expansion. People did die. It was very dangerous work. Do you think that the individuals were as heartless as this film makes you out to have to be in order to be a success?

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S4: I would say no, and I think that that’s actually one of the weaknesses of this film, is that the characters are so over the top and really caricatures. And if you read biographies of the robber barons and my favorite robber baron is John D. Rockefeller, Standard Oil actually plays a role in this film. And Rockefeller is a really complicated thing here because he was ruthless in a number of ways. He was also a very devout Baptist. He gave away money from almost the first time he started making money. That wasn’t something that just happened later on. He he wasn’t this simple figure of greed. And not to say he wasn’t greedy and did bad things, but he was quite complicated. And you could probably say that about a lot of these figures. And this film doesn’t totally allow that. It does a little bit in the beginning and then completely goes away from that.

S1: I mean, I do think the characters were really flat in a way in that they are, to your point, caricatures. I would say for me, I think the problem that I have with it even more is just this. They’re sort of this always this conflation that there are bad people and there are good people. And I think that’s a real problem because I don’t think that’s how the world works. I think people are complicated and good people do very bad things or vice versa. And so there’s none of I do feel like that was a little too black and white when I don’t. And I think especially when you’re thinking about capitalism, it’s very gray when we’re thinking about to your point, like someone like Rockefeller in real life.

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S3: Well, who are the good people in this movie and this movie? It seems to me there are bad people and there are worse people. There’s not a lot of, like goodies who you’re rooting for.

S4: There is the son who becomes deaf. And there was the angelic girl who was really the only female in the entire film.

S1: That’s what I want to say. The women who were never talked about and the women who are in the background, maybe there with no lines.

S4: And I think I mean, I will say I’m pretty sure this film is very self consciously an all male film, because the first scene of the film, you have it, you have a man holding a baby. Then people keep saying, where’s your wife? So I don’t think that’s necessarily just Paul Thomas Anderson breaking the back to test. I think it’s him making a point. And to be fair, at that stage in American capitalism, although women certainly did work and they certainly did work in factories, obviously the leading figures were so.

S3: So we do have a bunch of men in this movie. And there’s obviously one main character and then one adversary in L.A. Sunday. Everyone else is kind of sketched in. I was particularly struck on the second viewing of this movie how Paul Thomas Anderson hired Kieran Hinds, who’s one of the great actors of his generation, to basically just stand there and do nothing all movie. And you’re like, OK, so this. There you go, Kiran. I can get like two lines in the whole movie. And one of them is like, I’m with him.

S1: And I think it was, are you taking your brother to go have this conversation instead of me?

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S3: So given that I had a lot of, like, acting to do just by standing there, because he suddenly couldn’t do it by saying lines. But on one level, it really was and is just this Daniel Day Lewis vehicle. Right. And I think that was how the movie into the canon that people looked at this acting feat and said, well, you you did a lot of acting in this movie and you’re in almost every scene and congratulations on acting well.

S4: And it doesn’t help that most of the other actors who do have lines by which I mean Paul Dano, are just not very good, like there’s no contest in this film. And the Paul Dano character, I mean, granted, the script is not great for his character, but it is the same note. The entire film there is zero new adds to that character whatsoever. And he doesn’t he is incapable of getting the character any nuance. Whereas I do think to get Daniel Day Lewis credit and granted, this is acting with a capital acting, but he does make some of the material, I think, better than it actually is.

S3: Tell me about family and this whole theme running through the movie The Daniel Day Lewis in. Buying up and leasing the land he needs feels the need to pretend to be a family man, so he kind of acquires a small child somewhere along the way to use as a prop. And then when that prop disappears off on the train to learn sign language, he acquires a brother until he decides that he’s had enough use for that brother. What’s going on with that?

S1: I mean, to me, that was just sort of like a commentary of America and the idea that this is part of our social fabric in terms of what’s socially acceptable. And so if he had just been this guy. As opposed to like I love the Roos in the beginning when they’re going quail hunting and they just kind of show up, they’re just like randomly like, hey, can we quail hunt on your land? Can you give us some bread? Oh, you don’t have bread. You know, it’s the whole like I think it’s just like this whole persona of like, no, I, I really care about people because I’m a parent, you know. And so that’s how he ostensibly is this trustworthy figure, even though it’s interesting. Like I do love like the fact like to your point, though, the women are very skeptical. Like they’re just like, where is your wife? Like, why do you have this kid? Like, I feel like he gets that question a lot, but only from other women, not from men.

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S4: No, I agree. I mean, I think that it partly goes back to that idea of his relationship with family shows how broken he is. And we see that at the end of the film. But but I agree. It’s also this idea of like you often hear business people when they are being praised as saying this person is a family man. No, it’s something that humanizes someone. And I think this is clearly commenting on that.

S5: I’m a family man.

S4: I run a family business. This is my son of my partner, H.W. Plainville.

S3: We offer you the bond of family that very few oilmen can understand. What about the colors? This was so washed out in browns and grays, and because I believe it was filmed largely in west Texas around Marfa, which is one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, and you kind of get a hint of that, but not really. And you would also kind of think that in the movie, the title of which is There will be blood. There might be some actual blood in the movie that might be like a splash of red somewhere. But I don’t even remember that everyone’s really dirty.

S1: It’s like there will be blood, but there’s no water. Like, I just that to me was like what struck me more than the lack of the landscape, just sort of like the grimy ness of the whole thing.

S4: And I would also say in a way, there’s a number of scenes where people are covered in oil and the oil is like that blackness. That blood actually in real life often is. I mean, obviously this is blacker because it’s oil. But I kind of think that that’s supposed to be to a certain extent, this is the blood.

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S3: And then he he cleansed he has that weird baptismal thing in the Pacific Ocean. Yeah, I didn’t really understand that scene. You understand all of the Christian symbolism better than I do.

S4: And yeah, I mean, I do think that there that is the moment to where he initially it’s when he is connecting with this person who he thinks is his brother and he is being humanized slightly. And there is this sense of a cleansing. But then he goes back and after he is discovered that his brother is lying to him. Which is interesting because obviously that’s not representing any type of a cleansing, if anything, it’s like parading the baptismal ritual.

S1: Can I ask you guys a question? Yeah. I wonder what role you think the brother serves because he is adds a lot more texture to the story. It’s bizarre to me that he decides to confide in the brother after saying, like, I don’t like to explain myself. Then all of a sudden he just takes his complete stranger and then just starts like acting like he can share his life with them. Like, what does that say about his character?

S4: I think there is a sense throughout a lot of the film that the Daniel Plainview character is longing for a family, even though he says, I don’t like people, I don’t want anyone else to succeed, but the relationship he has with his adopted son and how angry he gets when his adopted son abandons him. And then that’s that desire he has to connect with this person who has a connection with the rest of his family, I think suggests that there is some humanity there.

S3: Suddenly, when I first saw the movie, I was under the impression that the whole brothers subplot was a way of dialing up the evil of our anti-hero, showing just how heartless he could be because we didn’t actually see a completely premeditated and heartless murder up until that point. Like, he can do anything and we’ll do anything on second viewing a. Did kind of wonder what that was about because. It seems even by the sort of Old Testament standards that we the supposedly judging this movie by, that that was not really condign punishment for lying about who you are. Like, it didn’t even seem that he was that angry about it. You just said, oh, well, in that case, I’m just going to have to kill you. I don’t get that bit. Didn’t make a lot of sense to me, except I suppose is a way of no, it doesn’t even make sense as a way of setting up the final scene, because the final scene would be even more shocking if the murder came out of nowhere.

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S4: It’s true. But I do think that violence also does often come for almost no reason in this film. Like the first time that he attacks the Eli Sun character. You understand why he’s doing it. But it seems a little bit overdone when that character that attacks his father. It again seems like way too much. And where is this coming from? And then even the ending, why does he feel the need to beat this person’s head with bowling pins? You know, there’s not really any reason for it. And again, just to go, I’ll just give you my Bible stuff, there is potentially also the kind of table this idea of man the brother kills.

S3: This is a step in man’s unfortunate development where we expand on that, because, again, I’m not I didn’t go to Sunday school.

S4: So Adam and Eve, partly I could be wrong about this because I haven’t read this for a while. But Adam and Eve have these sons or it’s like their children have children or if they’re kids, Cain and Abel or their kids. And I think it’s Cain kills Abel. I can’t remember why it is he kills them, but it’s not for a good reason. I think to a certain extent it represents you have the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. And then this is another instance of this kind of what that means and what that means is this violence between humans. And it is this is really the first family you have for the Bible and the first family. You have a brother kills his brother. It’s not for a good reason. You know, it’s I think to a certain extent it represents you have the fall of man in the Garden of Eden. And then this is another instance of this kind of what that means and what that means is this violence between humans. And it is this is the really the first family you have for the Bible and the first family. You have a brother kills his brother.

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S1: Wasn’t it that Abel Abel, they both made sacrifices to God and God like tables. So Cain got mad and they killed Cain. But I was thinking, I feel like it would be better and this doesn’t fit either. I was thinking if we were going to go with a biblical brother analogy, I would have gone with Jacob and Esau, not Jacob and Esau. Who’s Jacob in ACG. When you saw where Jacob takes his birthright, they fool the dad because he’s blind and then Jacob’s mom like to just make it everything even more messed up. Right. Like she encourages him to cheat because that’s her favorite son, the younger son, to steal his birthright. But I feel like they don’t we don’t get any of that nuance with these two brothers. It just weird. Maybe it is. You’re right. Maybe it is more of a Cain and Abel, but. It’s just sort of like why I agree with you, I feel like I don’t really like it’s just sort of like, did you need to go here?

S3: Why can’t we all just get along? There is a very aggressive and this is where the I hate other people. I just want to compete with other people. Thing comes in there is this very aggressive. Not so much narcissism, it’s just like self-centered drive, the plain view has that he needs to go off and beat everyone and make lots of money and come out on top in every relationship that he has. And I think it’s absolutely right that that’s the sort of anticapitalist message of the movie. Right. Is the idea that in order to be financially successful, you need to have that kind of very horrible competitive drive? And I’m not I mean, that certainly doesn’t seem to be true today. I not sure it was ever true. And yeah, I think I think you’re right that we look at this movie in vain, trying to find some sort of nuance and complexities.

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S4: Yeah. Because even like I’m going to go back to Rockefeller, even Rockefeller, who obviously like puts all his competition out of business, he creates this trust. The reason he does that is because the early days of the oil industry, when you had this constant price spikes and people would run into the industry and run out of the industry and overproduce, and it was impossible to grow an industry in that environment. So his whole idea was like, look, the only way we develop an industry is if one person is essentially controlling all of it. So why not me? And and he quite clearly says this. And yes, you could argue that that is I’m just justifying his desire to destroy all these other people, like there could be some of that. But yet I would just argue that it’s just not as simplistic as this person who is a man who wants to conquer all. And that is it.

S3: How about you? You can see a few more redeeming features in this movie, surely, than Anakin.

S1: I mean, I don’t know what redemptive it’s hard to think of the redemptive aspects of this. I think for me, the redemptive aspects of the film are more just that. It’s an ability it’s sort of a lens into this era of America that we often, I think, are completely romanticized. Right. And I think it fits so well into the American mythology of capitalism and the idea that everyone thinks that if I go on a lucky quail hunt, I, too, can become a millionaire. To me, that’s the more redemptive part of it is just that exploration I struggle to find particularly redemptive within. I’m going to think about that one.

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S3: No, I think I think that’s right. What we have here is it’s kind of a revisionist take on that era and that time in American history and when. People laud it as a time of American greatness, you then look at it close up and there’s really nothing great going on here. All of these people are terrible. And maybe that’s. A message is worth being reminded of that there were terrible people back then, well, maybe that maybe it’s not.

S4: I know they’re all fictional, although it is based loosely on some real people. It was involved in like a Teapot Dome scandal under Harding. That’s what the book oil is actually based on. And so the film is loosely based on.

S1: Wow.

S4: I haven’t heard about the Teapot Dome scandal in a while, but yeah, it was basically a bribery scandal for land related to oil. And I think the town that this is supposed to be is like Huntington Beach, California.

S3: Oh, you mean with it where the pipeline ends up?

S4: Yeah. Oh, there’s actually one interesting thing is there’s a point in the film where he’s giving the spiel and he’s talking about all the things that this drilling is going to bring to the town, you know, education and advancement. And and he’s right, obviously. I mean, this is what industrialization did bring not only to this town, but to America. However, it was a very violent process and a lot of people died and were exploited. And and I do think that that is actually one of the more interesting to my mind.

S6: It’s an abomination to consider that any man, woman or child in this magnificent country of ours should have to look upon a loaf of bread as a luxury. We’re going to dig water wells here. What a wells meter against irrigation means cultivation. You’re going to have more grain than you know what to do with Bradley Corn right out of his mouth. New roads, agriculture, employment, education, these are just a few of the things we. I assure you, ladies and gentlemen, that if we do find oil here, and I think that’s a very good chance, we will. This community of George will not only survive. It will flourish.

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S1: I think to me, what I felt like was missing out of that is we never see that like we don’t see the town like I was kind of expecting we were going to have this sort of like fast forward to like the town, really. Although when he eats in that restaurant, is that supposed to be in the town? I think so, but I’m not sure. So maybe that’s like, oh, look, you can get steak dinners and a hotel. But I just I wanted to I was hoping we would see more of that as opposed to just sort of like the church that the preacher built and then his house later on inside his house, his Xanadu was that.

S3: Do you think in California, his lovely California retirement near the coast, or is that still in the hardscrabble oil field plains? Where was the house?

S1: I felt like there was like a water scene. I think it was in California. Yeah, yeah.

S3: Everyone gets out, if they can, from that miserable existence.

S4: One last thing and one last thing. The overrating into the film as clearly evidenced by this conversation. But the film ends in nineteen twenty seven and I’m sure they probably picked that date because it actually had some importance in the Teapot Dome scandal trial. But it’s actually a really interesting topic because the Roaring Twenties, you know, you got a mild recession in twenty six, twenty seven, but it was really through twenty six, twenty seven where you had significant profit growth. So even though you had the stock market going up, you also had significant profit growth. And so it really wasn’t really going out of whack. But that was the moment when in twenty seven, when the stock market really became divorced and it was the beginning of the end of this era of American capitalism, because that ends in a crash that ended the depression, that era of American capitalism, where you have incredibly small government, would never return. So that’s why it’s finished. So that I think that’s my attempt to make it make interesting reading.

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S3: So let me ask you about that, because that that is actually on point for a money episode. First question, why is Eli Sun so desperate when he comes to Daniel Plain view at the end, it seems that he’s lost all of his money in some kind of speculative disaster. But from what you were saying, that was like two years later.

S4: So you did have a mild recession, I think, like towards the end of twenty six, part of twenty seven. So there was a little it was it was very it was mild. But I think that that’s what they’re referring to now, of course, that the major point rate where the economy falls apart is in the thirties. But I think that that’s what that references to.

S3: And then the other question is just just in terms of the sort of economic history of America, the two industries, the only industries we see in this movie, oil and railroads, is that correct? Those basically the industries that drive the expansion of the United States in the early decades of the 20th century?

S4: Well, we obviously had steel to build all those things. It’s also because the relationship between oil and the railroads was really important, because part of the reason Rockefeller was able to gain his dominance was because he had these sweetheart deals with the railroads. And so they charged him way less than everybody else because he shipped so much and that helped him put everybody else out of business. So I think that’s partly also why you would always see those two together.

S3: Right. So the railroad is something the plain view has a very conflicted relationship with because it allows him to expand his empire. But it’s also an avatar of of the heated competition from Standard Oil and his great gambit, the big sort of life defining gamble that he makes and succeeds in making is to abjure the railroads and to say, I’m going to build a pipeline all the way to Huntington Beach. And that seems to be the most important thing in his life, more than certainly more than any I mean, we don’t really get much feel for any family. He never falls in love. He certainly doesn’t seem to appreciate his house very much. It’s just let me stick it to the railroad and to Standard Oil and I’ll do something else with union oil. It’s like, why is union better than standard?

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S1: You know, he just seems so bitter about the shipping costs.

S3: It’s like Star Wars is about a trade dispute and there will be blood is about shipping costs.

S4: To be fair, though, shipping costs, we’re actually like legitimately a really big deal. Yeah, but I also feel like, you know, he introduces himself saying I am an oil man. When Standard Oil tries to say we’re going to buy you out, he says, well, what am I going to do? That is his his entire identity.

S1: He also seemed to really take pride in the fact that, like, he’s like this one man. The operation, right, and that he runs everything and so he will run the drilling like he will, not only does he and he’s out surveying, like there’s so much surveying that goes on, like a survey lobby was really strong in this movie because like, you know, there’s like survey. But he does it all himself. And I think that’s also, again, I feel like that’s part of the mythology of like. Yeah, the you you as your one person become this multimillion dollar corporation. If you could just work hard enough to survey the land and first find find the oil survey, the land drill, is that also is that how they did it like that? They really just like have a fire that blew up and then people died and that’s how they knew they had got the oil?

S4: Not entirely sure. I’m guessing they probably tried to not have people back. But I was just going to say, jumping off of what you just said, this focus on this like individual, which began obviously American business, but also in the oil industry, because when Ida Tarbell wrote her screed about I don’t mean great. I mean, it is a screed, but it was relatively fair about Standard Oil. It was really because she was in many people were so upset about what he did to small producers, to these individuals. And actually her father was like an individual producer, which was part of the reason that she was so upset. The film, like he as you said, he wants to both be this enormous corporation to compete with Standard Oil and just be an individual.

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S3: So, Nailer, you are telling me that you. Had like an oil derrick in your. Backyard in your own backyard.

S1: My grandmother, so my family’s from Trinidad, so that was also like my little like my sort of background of interest. Like I have cousins who work in the oil industry in Trinidad. So I really want to talk to them about, like, have you guys seen this? But no, my grandmother growing up, my grandparents, my mom’s side, they had a little oil spout in their backyard. And I would always go out there and you could see, like, the little black like I don’t know why. I have a very clear, distinctive childhood memory of like this, like a mound that had all these, like, bottle caps sort of like embedded into it so massive. But then there was oil coming out of the top. But this is always like a big story in our family that my grandparents never owned the oil rights to the land. So even though they own the house and the property, I guess whoever sold it to them retained the oil rights. So it’s just a it’s just like a byproduct of having Trinidadian heritage that I was like kind of interested in the oil part of that.

S3: Did someone, some horrible capitalist drink your grandparents milkshake? They were sitting they were sitting on top of all of this oil and they could never monetize.

S1: Yeah, I don’t think it was that big.

S3: Yeah. People kept on saying a lot for years. I drink your milk shake and. Yeah, I guess I mean, there aren’t that many memorable lines. It’s definitely the most memorable line if you have a milkshake.

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S5: And I have a milkshake and I have a straw. There it is, just watching my straw reaches across the room and starts to drink your milkshake. I drink your milkshake.

S4: I drink it up and apparently sorry, my fun facts. But apparently in the trial documents related to the Teapot Dome scandal, someone mentions a milkshake and Paul Thomas Anderson read that. And he’s like, this word seems to make no sense in this period. And so that’s part of the reason.

S1: I think probably the most horrifying scene to me was when he forces the son to drink the alcohol milkshake. That was bad. Like I mean, obviously killing the people is bad. But I was like, oh, I don’t want to what I do feel like I spent a lot of this watching this with my hand over my mouth, like what is happening now.

S4: I literally the end almost had to, like, cover my ears because it was just yeah.

S3: It was too much, too much, too much in service of not enough. Most of this season has been good movies that we loved. I feel like this is the first time we’ve arrived at Man, but that’s OK. Not all of them need to be good.

S1: This isn’t the feel good movie of 2007.

S3: I don’t even think it was the feel good movie of like the one hour window that it was released in it. Yeah, yeah. And he can do moments of grace. Paul Thomas Anderson, he just didn’t in this one.

S1: I mean, I would put it in like if you’re thinking about pandemic viewing sleep money fans like I feel almost this fits. Yeah.

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S3: No, how does it fit? You don’t want to watch this during a pandemic. Maybe you do. Maybe, maybe it’s like one of those things where you grew up with your grandparents sitting on a bunch of oil and everyone told you this is a great movie. And so now you need to watch it. But I would say probably given our druthers, we wouldn’t necessarily recommend this one. And you really didn’t like it, did you know? Really didn’t. And Nailer, if you had to give it like a letter grade, where would it come out for you?

S1: Oh, I would I would give it A, B, B, B minus. Maybe I’d give it a, B, I go straight with a B.

S3: All right. Well, Nyla Boodhoo, thank you so much for coming on. Slate money goes to the movies. And I will say, insofar as we ended up forcing you to sit through two and a half hours of the pokies, it was your choice. No one picked it for you. So you can’t blame me for that one. It’s been awesome having you on. And yes, everyone must listen to you on Axios today.

S2: Every morning it some crack of dawn. You come out so early, just five thirty in the morning for all of those hardworking capitalists to get an early start on their day.