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.
When a sports agent has a moral epiphany and is fired for expressing it, he decides to put his new philosophy to the test as an independent agent with the only athlete who stays with him and his former secretary.
Cuba Gooding Jr.,
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
Paul Thomas Anderson: [Iris In/Out] The very first story of the prologue is shot like a silent film. The first shot opens with the Iris In technique, used frequently during the silent film era to open and close shots. See more »
Neil Flynn is credited as Stanley Berry, but in the film, Flynn is seen when the narrator says, "Daniel Hill." 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 »
The first encounter that I ever had with Paul Thomas Anderson was through "Boogie Nights." I admit, I first saw it because of I heard that it was about the porn industry. However, I was surprised to discover an intimate look into the damaged lives of several very interesting, well-developed characters. I also was delighted to have found a new and exciting director whose career and films I will be sure to follow. Anderson's cinematic flamboyance, technical bravura, and inspired storytelling ability make him a talent who is emblematic of the resurrgence in creative and dynamic filmmaking that has occured in this past year. Like Fincher(Fight Club), Mendes(American Beauty), Jonze(Being John Malkovich), and the Wachowski Brothers(The Matrix), Anderson has created a truly unique film that stretches the boundaries of cinema.
Many who I saw the movie with grumbled repeatedly about it's length. Clocking in at about three hours and ten minutes, "Magnolia" is long. Even if you are as strong an advocate of the film as I am, you will think that it is long. I really had to go to the bathroom the whole time. But I did not want to miss a single second of Mr. Anderson's fascinating opus. The prologue is very well done, doing a good job of drawing in the viewer. It makes an interesting commentary on coincidence, wjich segues nicely into the rest of the film. The first half hour of the film is the most wonderfully done I have ever seen. Just as Anderson does in "Boogie Nights," the prodigy weaves a fast-paced web of intrigue, flashing tidbits of the many characters' lives that leave the viewer thirsty for more. The rhythm of the film slows down for the bulk of it, as we learn more and more and become more intimately involved in the lives of the wonderfully flawed characters. The film seems to build and build into something bigger than itself. In a way, that is the main flaw of it, but also the beauty of it. Anderson's ambitiousness is huge, but I wouldn't call him an overreacher.
This film is so full of great performances. It is probably the best ensemble piece that I have witnessed. There has been much Oscar buzz on Tom Cruise's behalf, but I honestly believe that there are so many Oscar worthy performances in this film that it is a futile effort to mention them all.
Particularly strong in the movie is the editing, which allows for the interconnected stories of the various characters to be placed parallel to each other very smoothly. The cinematography is wonderful, obviously influenced by Scorcese. I really don't believe that this film could have been as good as it was if it were any shorter. Seeing it is truly an experience. I was almost sad to see it end.
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