A psychologically troubled novelty supplier is nudged towards a romance with an English woman, all the while being extorted by a phone-sex line run by a crooked mattress salesman, and purchasing stunning amounts of pudding.
Paul Thomas Anderson
Philip Seymour Hoffman
A New York City doctor, who is married to an art curator, pushes himself on a harrowing and dangerous night-long odyssey of sexual and moral discovery after his wife admits that she once almost cheated on him.
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
At one point Quiz Kid Donnie says: "Samuel Johnson never had his life shit on... and taken from him, and his money stolen! Who took his life and his money? His parents? His mommy, and daddy? Make him live this life like this... A man of genius who gets shit on as a child!... " Actually all of those things happened to Samuel Johnson. He was a child prodigy who was exploited by his parents. His parents also stole of the money he made as a child prodigy. 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...
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As the credit for Robert Downey Sr. scrolls up the screen, the words "(a prince)" appear next to his name. See more »
A film such as Magnolia does not come around often enough. Though I felt that Boogie Nights attempted the same effect: exposing the base, unrelenting, human desires of Angelinos, it failed in several ways. Magnolia does not. Mr. Anderson sets out to show the underbelly of Americana, much like Mr. Mendes has done spectacularly with American Beauty. At the end of the century, these two films stand as landmarks in the evolution of the American. What we pursue in name only, piety, commonness with our fellow man, family, fame, fortune, and peace of mind, come crashing together in Magnolia, in an apex of misfortune, misunderstanding, forgiveness and renewal. These two films should scare the living daylights out of Americans, especially those living in Los Angeles. The stories show us that merely giving lip service to morals, self-improvement and camaraderie is not enough, we can fake it for only so long, before life overtakes us in a deluge of happenstance and retribution. Mr. Anderson is a wonderful storyteller, and Magnolia is the most visually and aurally satisfying film in years. Ms. Mann's music and the ensemble acting are symphonic. This movie is as tightly composed as any work in cinema one can remember. Obviously, I highly recommend it.
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