A teacher lives a lonely life, all the while struggling over his son's custody. His life slowly gets better as he finds love and receives good news from his son, but his new luck is about to be brutally shattered by an innocent little lie.
Thomas Bo Larsen,
A motorcycle stunt rider turns to robbing banks as a way to provide for his lover and their newborn child, a decision that puts him on a collision course with an ambitious rookie cop navigating a department ruled by a corrupt detective.
24 hours in L.A.; it's raining cats and dogs. Two parallel and intercut stories dramatize men about to die: both are estranged from a grown child, both want to make contact, and neither child wants anything to do with dad. Earl Partridge's son is a charismatic misogynist; Jimmy Gator's daughter is a cokehead and waif. A mild and caring nurse intercedes for Earl, reaching the son; a prayerful and upright beat cop meets the daughter, is attracted to her, and leads her toward a new calm. Meanwhile, guilt consumes Earl's young wife, while two whiz kids, one grown and a loser and the other young and pressured, face their situations. The weather, too, is quirky. Written by
The credits for the "What Do Kids Know?" game show give the web address www.wdkk.com which led directly to the movie's official website. The web address "www.seduceanddestroy.com" led to the film's official site, too. Both these links are now dead. See more »
When Linda Partridge is swallowing pills in her car, it's raining outside. A few minutes later, when she's passed out, the car is bone dry. See more »
In the New York Herald, November 26, year 1911, there is an account of the hanging of three men. They died for the murder of Sir Edmund William Godfrey; Husband, Father, Pharmacist and all around gentle-man resident of: Greenberry Hill, London. He was murdered by three vagrants whose motive was simple robbery. They were identified as: Joseph Green, Stanley Berry, and Daniel Hill. Green, Berry, Hill. And I Would Like To Think This was Only A Matter Of Chance. As reported in the Reno...
See more »
Underneath the title at the end a line reads "for fa and ea". fa is Fiona Apple (Paul Thomas Anderson's girlfriend) ea is Ernie Anderson (Paul Thomas Anderson's father) See more »
Don't be fooled by the comparisons to Robert Altman's Short Cuts; P.T. Anderson's direction of his own wonderfully original screenplay is like nothing you've ever seen before.
The film opens with three dramatizations of chance occurrences that most people would deem as "just one of those things," or coincidences. From here, there is a cut to a beautiful unfurling magnolia accompanied by Aimee Mann's gorgeous version of Harry Nilsson's "One" (if you look closely, you can see a street sign that reads Magnolia). During the remainder of the song, Anderson introduces us to the dozen-plus main characters. We are fed only a dash of these strangers' lives, but we are instantly mesmerized. Soon, the tempo of the film slows down, and Anderson allows us to relate to the individuals of his superb cast.
In the middle of the surrounding stories lies the story of an unappreciated cop (the under-used John C. Reilly) and a coke-sniffing, self-esteemless girl (Melora Walters) falling in love. Finding love and overcoming fear of rejection are only two of the recurring themes of this film. Among the other ideas that surface are understanding when to help (rather than punish) and making amends for past mistakes.
The third act, which features the entire cast participating in an Aimee Mann sing-along of "Wise Up" and an apocalyptic wake up call from the heavens (br ush up on your Bible knowledge, Exodus 8:3), is where even some Magnolia proponents stray. In my eyes, this section demonstrates Anderson's originality to bring all the characters together through one supernatural event. Its effects are the epitome of all "coincidences."
Magnolia is truly one of the finest films I have ever seen (certainly Anderson's best). Like his previous films (Hard Eight, Boogie Nights), Anderson's Magnolia explores the importance of love and family to give an individual self-worth. As Aimee Mann's "Save Me" accompanies the conclusion of the film, we remember that we do need others to help us overcome adversity, and that we cannot make it through this life alone.
6 of 12 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?