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01. Babel - Alejandro Gonz�lez I��rritu (2006)
02. The Deer Hunter - Michael Cimino (1978)
03. Some Like it Hot - Billy Wilder (1959)
04. Before Night Falls - Julian Schnabel (2000)
05. The Hours - Stephen Daldry (2002)
06. The Apartment - Billy Wilder (1960)
07. Terms of Endearment - James L. Brooks (1983)
08. The Godfather Part II - Francis Ford Coppola (1974)
09. Magnolia - Paul Thomas Anderson (1999)
10. The Dark Knight - Christopher Nolan (2008)
A film which impresses with great performances, a great storyline and maybe the best beginning ever.
I first saw this movie when I was 17 years old. My expectations were high and I have to admit, that it belied them. At this view, approximately 3 years ago, the performances shined out for me and I've not really engaged myself in the rest of this mediocre film.
My second viewing was nearly 2 years back. Regarding the plot, I was very confused because the beginning stayed in my head the whole 188 minutes and at the end, I couldn't see a satisfying connection between it and the rest, especially between the beginning and the ending. I was expecting some 'Crash'-like connections between the characters.
So I gave 'Magnolia' a third shot and I was blown away by it. Therefore, I give it 9 out of 10 and it's in my Top 10 movies of all time. First of all, I have to write about the incredible performances by the whole cast. Everyone is so much into his character and it seems that each actor was very free concerning his play. For example: Julianne Moore plays the spouse Linda Partridge, whose husband Earl (Jason Robards) will die of lung cancer. She never loved her husband but now, he is in extremis and she discovers an unprecedented love towards him. Linda doesn't take care of Earl because she wants to smooth things over by reason of cheating on him several times. She takes care of him only because she really loves him. She even wants to change Earls last will although all of his money would be hers, just because she feels dirty concerning her past. The pharmacy-scene is very important to see how she feels. Linda doesn't want to be called lady, because in her own eyes she isn't a lady anymore after all the things she has done to her husband: "You ... call me lady? Shame on you!" We only see Jason Robards lying in the bed but he manhandles the role perfectly not least because of the dialog. Julianne Moore proves that she can handle dramatic roles. Philip Seymour Hoffman (Phil Pharma, the nurse of Earl Partridge) shows that he can pull out a lot of supporting roles. Then, there is Tom Cruise who was nominated for Oscar for his role as Frank T.J. Mackey, Earl Partridges son. Mackey and Partridge are out of touch and Earls last will is, that Phil Pharma brings Mackey to Earls deathbed. Mackey is leader of his own seminar, in which he learns men how to seduce women with his program "Seduce and Destroy. Philip Baker Hall, plays the show presenter Jimmy Gator who has an icky relationship to his drug-addicted daughter Claudia Wilson Gator (wonderfully played by Melora Walters).
Last but not least, there's John C. Reilly. In my opinion, Reilly is the best of the cast. He plays the officer Jim Kurring who takes his job very seriously. He becomes acquainted with Claudia Wilson Gator and a relationship is about to start between these completely different humans. William H. Macy is Quiz Kid Donnie Smith, a Man who won in Jimmy Gators Show many years ago. His character is very curious, Smith robs money from his work to can afford a brace with which he, as he thinks, would be loved by a barkeeper who also has one. Jeremy Blackman, the youngest cast member plays Stanley Spector, a very intelligent child who is going to be the new Quiz Champion. He suffers under the severity of his father . You see, there are thematic overlaps between the characters, for instance education.
The beginning is amazing, maybe the best I've ever seen. Three accounts are told and all are just too improbably to believe them. And at the end of the last account, the narrator says: "This was not just a matter of chance. This strange things happen all the time".
At the end of the movie there are frogs falling from the sky. A frog-rain. There's a reference to the Bible's book Exodus 8:2, which says: "And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs". The numbers 8 and 2 are also present in different parts of the movie. So, after my first two viewing I have never seen a conclusion. After the third view, 1 week ago, I spent a lot of time discussing and analyzing this movie. I don't think, that God made the frog fall from the sky just because there's a line in the Bible which comes up with the same phenomenon. But i definitely think that there's a higher force. I have to say: The frograin is really important for all of the characters. For instance Jimmy Gator wants to take his life because he will die of cancer and because of his vague past with his daughter (he doesn't know if he abused her or not). He puts the gun to his head and in the same moment a frog is falling into the kitchen, onto the gun and the shot goes into the television which starts to fume. Kurring is driving home and helps Smith to give the money back he's stolen before. Earl Partridge awakes because of the frograin and realizes that his son came for visiting him. And Stanley Spector is sitting in front of some textbooks, sees the frograin, smiles and says: "This is something that happens". And here, the circle is complete! There are things in life we can't believe. Things that are very unlikely. Not only natural phenomena also phenomena between human beings. At the beginning we hear: "This was not just a matter of chance". So that says that there is sort of an 'act of nature'. "This is something that happens", and it's not a matter of chance.
This was my first review, hope you liked it. I finally entrust 'Magnolia' to you and I hope you can enjoy it as I did. Thanks for reading.