Magnolia (1999)

What the fuck did i just watch?

Magnolia is a filmĀ centeredĀ around Magnolia Boulevard in Los Angeles and follows a group of individuals lives, who seemingly all connect in interesting or contrived ways. This, is the best description i can give you of a very confusing film.

All of the actors in this film gave solid performances. The cast in fact was so solid that it is hard to identify a single actor whom stood out as the best.

Tom Cruise was probably my personal favourite in the film, playing a womanising arsehole who has daddy issues. It was not a far cry from his performance in Rain Man, just with extra arrogance.

Julianne Moore was absolutely fantastic in her role as a young wife of a dying man, the emotions she showed and her confrontation scene in the pharmacy was superb.

John C. Reilly gave a great performance as a police officer with an inferiority complex and truly brought the self depreciating aspect out of the character.

This is the first Paul Thomas Anderson film i have seen and i was…surprised to say the least. Some of the camera angles and shots he chose were certainly inventive yet i feel that they didn’t help the film and it certainly pulled me out of the film several times. Whether this is his usual style or a custom style for this film i am not sure, but i certainly hope it was exclusive to this film.

Besides the often dodgy shots the film has great visual style throughout and the biblical scene, though weird, unexpected and unnecessary, was shot great and pulled off brilliantly.

Magnolia is a very strange film which follows various people around their day to day lives with seemingly no main plot or story. It takes a good hour for the film to slowly start connecting itself and start planting the seeds of aspiration in the viewers minds.

This film has a fantastic cast who give great performances, an extremely weird and trippy story and is shot uniquely. Also at over 3 hours run time it does have some major pacing issues which could have been fixed with some minor trimming.

This film is a must see, despite its flaws, in the end it is a very good movie. However, personally, this is a one time only movie, there is no need for me to watch it ever again.


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