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Magnolia (1999)

R | | Drama | 7 January 2000 (USA)
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2:47 | Trailer

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An epic mosaic of interrelated characters in search of love, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley.
Popularity
1,507 ( 405)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 28 wins & 54 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Pat Healy ... Sir Edmund William Godfrey / Young Pharmacy Kid
Genevieve Zweig Genevieve Zweig ... Mrs. Godfrey
Mark Flanagan Mark Flanagan ... Joseph Green (as Mark Flannagan)
Neil Flynn ... Stanley Berry
Rod McLachlan ... Daniel Hill
Allan Graf ... Firefighter
Patton Oswalt ... Delmer Darion
Raymond 'Big Guy' Gonzales Raymond 'Big Guy' Gonzales ... Reno Security Guard
Brad Hunt ... Craig Hansen
Jim Meskimen ... Forensic Scientist
Chris O'Hara ... Sydney Barringer
Clement Blake ... Arthur Barringer
Frank Elmore Frank Elmore ... 1958 Detective
John Kraft Seitz John Kraft Seitz ... 1958 Policeman
Cory Buck Cory Buck ... Young Boy
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Storyline

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 <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Things fall down. People look up. And when it rains, it pours.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, drug use, sexuality and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Official Sites:

New Line

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | French

Release Date:

7 January 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mag·no'li·a See more »

Filming Locations:

Angelus Oaks, California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$37,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$193,604, 19 December 1999, Limited Release

Gross USA:

$22,455,976

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$25,995,827
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Thomas Anderson wrote the bulk of the script during two weeks he spent at William H. Macy's Vermont cabin - afraid to go outside because he'd seen a snake. See more »

Goofs

As Officer Jim drives in his patrol car, he has the windshield wipers on full blast because he can't see through the downpour. As the camera angle changes and we view the oncoming traffic, the oncoming vehicle's windshield wipers are not moving and the downpour seems no more than a mist. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: 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...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Underneath the title at the end a line reads "for fa and ea". fa is Fiona Apple (Paul Thomas Anderson's girlfriend) ea is Ernie Anderson (Paul Thomas Anderson's father) See more »

Alternate Versions

After watching the documentary "That Moment" on the supplementary DVD, you can see a deleted scene. The scene involves Orlando Jones' character 'The Worm,' his son (who appears in Officer Jim and Linda's scenes), and an unidentified boy. In it, the young rapping boy, Dixon, rushes into a restaurant where his father is staying, and eventually pulls a gun on him. The gun appears to be Jim's lost gun. Perhaps the scene would have further explained how it was so mysteriously returned to Jim in the end of the film. In the documentary, the director seems to be having a tough time with the scene, perhaps explaining why it was cut. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Sense8: What's Going On? (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

Whispering
Written by Richard Coburn, Vincent Rose, and John Schonberger
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

 
Coincidences, guilt, mysteries; life.
25 July 2010 | by bobsgrockSee all my reviews

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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