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|Index||1434 reviews in total|
Wow! When I first rented this movie and saw the length of the film to be a little over 3 hours, I thought it would be a waste of a good 3 hours of studying time. I had to return it 4 hours later at Blockbuster and I thought...what the hell, I want to see why there was so much fuss about this movie. After about an hour into the film, I noticed that there was no absolute plot leading the story into any foreseeable direction. No plot, no point, I loved it. I've never seen a film with so much force and the pacing was absolutely astounding. The story was filled with little vignettes and constantly jumped from one scenario to another scenario with such a smooth transition that I was in movie heaven. I loved the 3 hours spent on this great movie. Definitely an art piece that people should not miss.
Here's a film to be enjoyed on multiple levels, and the good thing is:
It's entirely up to you what you want to make of it. "Magnolia" is an
entry in the nowadays growing category of "hypertext movies" with no
single protagonist, a film where all plots are somehow connected,
interlinked and one action has an impact on another story, subtle or
major, and vice versa, and so it goes with every single one of them.
The result is a mosaic-like puzzle where everything forms a strange
whole, patched together by the almighty power of coincidence. That is,
if you want to see it that way. If you're a believer in fate you might
get a very different view, or even start wondering whether it might
even make sense to consider these two principles to be synonymous.
There's more than just events that are linked in a 24 hours time span. One of them is the great music to be enjoyed by Aimee Mann, setting the mood, creating the links, enhancing the outstanding photography. The single stories are all worth telling, they are quirky, funny, emotional, touching, well acted and adequately paced, and make the three hours of the film's length fly by in no time. You will also find an apparent theme about parents and children, about the past that isn't through with us, even though we'd like to get rid of it, and how it all seems to come together in a storm of metaphysical epiphany, or absurdity - up to you. Heed the trailer that "warns" us, though: And when it rains, it pours... "Magnolia" has the potential to morph in front of the viewer's eye with each viewing, enriching the experience, as there are enough different aspects that demand new attention. Recommendation for first time watchers: Don't look for the big message. Just expect the unexpected.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
Even braver and deeper emotionally than Paul Thomas Anderson's
wonderful 'Boogie Nights', and in some ways a more mature, if less
blazingly dynamic work. Full of amazing shots, amazing performances.
The film 'Short Cuts' wanted to be.
That said there are a few flaws. The biblical ending doesn't quite work for me. I appreciate the ideas behind it, but it's an ending that's less emotional for me than the film that proceeded it. And a few moments of irony are forced. That was true in 'Boogie Nights' too, but because that film had a lighter, more self-mocking touch, even the heavy handed moments didn't stick out.
None-the-less, this is a must see film, overflowing with great performances, unconventional storytelling, heartbreaking moments, and an honest look at where we are and who we are as a society.
Paul Thomas Anderson followed up the dazzlingly audacious "Boogie
Nights" (1997) with the even more (if possible) audacious saga of
emotional meltdowns over one dark night in L.A. in "Magnolia," and left
people scratching their heads.
There's an awful lot going on in this movie all the time, and I can see how it would be a turn off for some. I was utterly engrossed by it, so much so that I went back to see it again and sat mesmerized by it a second time. Anderson has one big hairy set of bull balls to make a 3+ hour epic full of dark soliloquies, death, disease and an impromptu musical number performed by the entire cast, sustain an emotional tone as tightly strained as a piano wire for almost the entire film's length, and then cap the whole thing off with a rain of frogs.
"Magnolia" isn't the most disciplined film ever made, and Anderson's film-making hysteria sometimes runs away with his stories, but it sure is one endlessly fascinating piece of work. Anderson has matured greatly over the years -- "There Will Be Blood" was far more restrained and controlled than any of his previous movies. But in every movie he makes, you can see the mad genius behind the scenes, and I can't wait to see what he's going to do next.
Judging from the comments archive, I can see why this film polarizes its audiences as much as it does. This film defies convention in all possible senses--characterization, dialogue, narrative structure, heck, even the introduction. To be honest, this movie is truly strange. But that doesn't necessarily make it bad. Quite the contrary, actually. In my opinion this is one of the best movies I've seen. The acting was superb, and the performance I got from Tom Cruise was surprising to say the least. I don't expect much from him other than crocodile tears and beaming that thick smile, but here he credibly displayed a wide range of emotions. The photography was excellent, the pacing was quick (despite the 3:15 runtime!), and the structure! the best thing about it. Although the movie does dwell on a very central theme--the price and necessity of salvation--much of the movie is left undone, as raw material for thinking about later, as if the characters just keep on living. As I said, it's not your standard movie fare. But don't dismiss it for what lies most visably on the surface; instead, sit through the movie, soak it in, and when it's done, turn out the lights and think about it for a while. You'll be glad you did.
PT Anderson's sprawling character epic is nothing short of brilliant,
eviscerating the lives of a vast array of tortured souls in the San Fernando
Magnolia presents to us the seemingly totally different, separate lives of twelve people having quite a trying and tumultuous day. There's a dying TV mogul (Jason Robards), his estranged son turned sex empowerment spokesman (Tom Cruise), Robard's devastated, guilt-ridden wife (Julianne Moore), Robard's nurse/caretaker (Phillip Seymour Hoffman), a dying TV quiz show host (Phillip Baker Hall), his estranged, drug-addled daughter (Melora Waters), the game show host's worrisome wife (Melinda Dillon), a brilliant quiz kid on Hall's show (Jeremy Blackman), and his overbearing father (Michael Bowen), an ex-quiz kid now living in shambles (William H Macy), a well-meaning, prudish officer (John C Reilly), and a rapping street kid (Emmanuel Johnson). Their lives intersect either directly or briefly as they give confessions, show forgiveness, come to terms, and ultimately are given redemption.
As convoluted and confusing the amount and relationships and the characters may sound, Anderson skillfully balances them all and fleshes them out, making them three dimensional characters that the viewer cares about. With so many characters, one would imagine some of them are filler, throw away roles - but in reality, all of them impact the viewer and prove to be an integral part to the entire film.
Performances in Magnolia run the gamut from poignant to heartfelt to astounding to subtle to powerful to nothing short of brilliant. Though all performances are great, there are a few that stand out: William H. Macy, as always, gives a beautiful performance as the ex-quiz kid who goes to absurd lengths to find love. Jeremy Blackman's overachieving, unloved quiz kid is also heart-wrenchingly well portrayed. Phillip Baker Hall's seemingly wholesome game show host who himself cannot answer any questions is expertly and poignantly drawn. The real treat, however, is Tom Cruise (yes, his role is as well done as it's been touted) as the cool, hyped up sex guru who is slowly deconstructed by his past.
There is so much to enjoy about Magnolia, besides it's well-written, provocative characters: the film's cinematography is so beautifully rendered that the camera seems to be working on it's own, weaving seamlessly through hallways and long shots without any cuts. It seems to reach into the characters and pull out all their vulnerabilities for the audience to see. Aimee Mann's haunting songs also add a potent touch of misery and darkness to the already unsettling script.
From it's overwhelming opening set-up accompanied by the miserable tune "One" to it's Biblical ending, it's an emotional epic that plunges the viewer into the depths of its character's personal hells and shows that closure and redemption can be a painful but ultimately necessary part of life.
Easily one of 1999's best, most ambitious films, and ranking in my top 10 of all time, Magnolia is an emotional tour-de-force that touts a great ensemble cast, a beautifully written script, stylish camera work, and a great soundtrack. The ending is a shocking, memorable one as well, and proves that PT Anderson is a brilliant, formidable filmmaking force be dealt with.
10 out of 10
From the first five minuts of this movie i knew i was in for something
strange, something unique, something different. What i got was a powerful
movie that forced me to think and just be drawn into a world unlike any
other ive seen. The human element was so real it was scary. When the
man confessed his life to his nurse i almost had to turn it off and pull
myself back together. It wasnt that long ago i lost my mother to cancer
the reality of this man lying is his death bed was so powerful, so
brilliantly horrific, i was in tears. The story of his, at first money
hungry, druged up, guilt ridden, wife was painfully beautiful. When she
goes to get some prescripitions only to have the clerks stare and probe
as why someone would need such things evoked a sence of privacy being
violated for someone who deserves no sympathy yet screams at you for help.
Tom Cruise's character as the idealistic ID of a man's personality to the
infinite power was brave and unabashed. Him lying by his fathers side, a
man who deserted him and his dying mother, a man who he had not seen in
years, a man who's dying wish was to see his son, was played with such raw
emotion its a wonder why these two people were not givin some kind of
for there acting. We get the story of a whiz kid quiz show star and a
of a former whiz kid quiz show star where the former is so fed up with
having to do everything and being the smart one and dealing with his
overcrazed father while the latter cant shake the shadows of his former
"fame" and just cant do anything with his life. This man was disturbing,
all he wanted to do was love. He just wanted to love someone, anyone,
anything, because he didnt love himself enough to move on from his
past.....ahhh the past...a subject so defined in this film. Some poeple
able to move through life and things either fall into place all nice and
cozy or there little speed bumps dont affect them. Yet there are many out
there who cant get through the past. cant understand why they may have
certain things and are left with the guilt of there "sins" and it runs
into the ground day after day after day. No one said life was easy and
certainly there is no handbook. we all should know right and wrong but
you cross that line is there anyway to come back? that is what this movie
is asking. and like life there is no answer. we just dont
Now the sing a long that has got everyone's attention was perfect in my eyes. at the time of the story to see something you really never seen before with so much meaning was amazing. Mann's song rang through my ears like few others have before. And the frogs...well...im not a religous person...i understand this came from the bible...its exact meaning i do not know. but as the movie tells you all along regret is blatantly hard.
i give this movie, film, story, personal page out of life, what ever you want to call it, a 10.
Boy, I was hoping for great things from this film. And I got them.
However, it was a bunch of great things, as opposed to a great whole
This movie is ambitous. REALLY ambitous. It attempts more in one of its storylines than most movies. So it feels a bit churlish to nitpick. However, I feel this:"Boogie Nights" was a smaller film with greater focus. "Magnolia" is larger with higher highs, but less overall success.
The film never tops the first 20 minutes, probably the best single piece of filmmaking this year. After an introduction to three urban legends, "Magnolia" introduces itself. Basically this a crazy quilt of characters that all happen to be in the San Fernando Valley on one day. There are connections between them, though they all won't be connected in the end.
The cast meets their challenges head on. Philip Baker Hall is always good with P.T. Anderson, and here he does some great stuff. So does Jason Robards, John C. Reilly, Julliane Moore, William H. Macy, and the quiz show kid (sorry, missed the name). Tom Cruise? Some of his best acting. An (expected) Oscar nomination would not be out of place.
The photography is very varied, and some shots are just outstanding. Aimee Mann has been underappreciated as a songwriter:this film should change that, I hope.
My pet peeve is that in taking on so much, "Magnolia" has trouble delivering at the same level for everyone all through the whole film. Some stories become captivating, then lose steam. Some scenes are perplexing. Some characters become awfully hard to take. Other parts carry on too long (no small thing in a long movie). The end result, for me, is neither "perfect" or "masterpiece." Just damn good.
DON'T READ IF YOU HAVEN'T SEEN THE MOVIE:I have to say the sequence 2/3rds of the way into the movie where everyone starts singing the Aimee Mann song is genius. And the raining frogs are fantastic-best special effect of the year!
I wouldn't judge, I wouldn't write an essay. I'll just say, wonderful movie! But here the system requires me to give 10 lines of text at least. So there you go...a bit of gibberish here. I don't know what you conclude from something you are exposed to in situations like this. You just want to be silent and feel good. So many people from different zones of life come together to gift you this thing called...Magnolia. I am particularly in love with the sincerity of the mad coincidences. We love coincidences, don't we? They say it a lot of times but I so want to say it just once right now, do yourself a favor..watch this. Its a movie that stays with you. Enjoy!
Some films are meant to be loved... or more so, some films are meant to
be remembered and live-forever... Paul Thomas Anderson's 'Magnolia'
caters to the latter. A Gem in Filmmmaking, A film that sucks you in
like the legendary plant.
'Magnolia' interweaves nine separate yet connected story lines, about the interactions among several people during one day in the San Fernando Valley, in Los Angeles, California. It's a such fantastic film, that your glued to the screen from start to end. It's over 3 Hours in running time, yet this winner never bores. The characters, their ark in the goings-on left me awe-struck. 'Magnolia' makes you laugh when your suppose to, and cry when your suppose to. Paul Thomas Anderson's writing and direction, translate, into, his career's finest effort.
In this multi-starrer each actors scores, and here's a special mention to all of them: Tom Cruise is astounding and undoubtedly the guy who steals the show! The Iconic Actor of Cinema delivers a performance that leaves you stunned! John C. Reilly is excellent. Julianne Moore is splendid. Philip Seymour Hoffman is terrific. William H. Macy is superb. Melora Walters is fantastic. Philip Baker Hall delivers his careers finest performance. April Grace is decent. Late Jason Robards is effective.
'Magnolia' is a Masterpiece in each and every aspect. Two Big Thumbs Up! This is CINEMA at it's BEST!
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