An epic mosaic of interrelated characters in search of love, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley.An epic mosaic of interrelated characters in search of love, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley.An epic mosaic of interrelated characters in search of love, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley.
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.
- Dec 19, 1999