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
In the "Wise Up" sequence, Claudia is dressed for her date, she's wearing black and her hair is up. When she opens the door to Jim, she's wearing red, her hair is down. On the way to the car, she is again wearing black etc, and at the restaurant she is back wearing red. 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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Pedestrian #2 is incorrectly spelled Pedistrian #2. See more »
Magnolia is an exhilarating experience for any film lover who wants and desires for films that go above and beyond what the vast majority of movies produced today will give to the audience. Got to the theaters and all you will see are mainstream productions completely formulaic, money-driven and without any real emotion or power. It is a fair argument that all film producers care about today is making a profit, getting the audience in and out as quickly as possible and waiting for the next big thing. Paul Thomas Anderson is not such a filmmaker.
Magnolia is not such a film. At over three hours long, it toys with the audience, giving them just enough characters to make them feel they cannot follow until they realize they are completely immersed. It also deals with seriously heavy issues and themes; this is not a film for the immature or childish of heart. At times, it can be difficult to watch what is happening because of what isn't being said or done; the most powerful elements of this film are what is implied.
That being said, this film succeeds mostly because of the incredible acting from the huge ensemble cast and Anderson's writing, which many feel is too pretentious and self-aware to be taken seriously. However, this is a film that is either bought or sold immediately by the viewer. I bought it and once you do, you are sucked in for the rest of the film. Of course, the acting really brings it home with incredibly powerful performances most notably from Jeremy Blackman, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Melora Walters and Tom Cruise, who completely upstages everyone else, proving once again that he is a viable actor capable of being considered great for his time and not just a box-office star.
Yet, this is an auteur production the whole way through and for that reason, people either love or hate Magnolia. Anderson is one of the most unique and talented filmmakers of the past 20 years and to see any one of his five films is to witness a special vision of the world. Here, we get his views on forgiveness; the power of it and how giving or holding it affects us in life. Of course, the ending is complex, mysterious and perplexing. There are remarkable coincidences and accidents throughout the narrative. Yet, no one can deny the unusual power and potency laying dormant beneath these scenes. All that is needed is for someone to open it up, be exposed to its ideas and be held in spectacle for three hours. The rest is up to you.
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