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MAGNOLIA

  • Dir. Paul Thomas Anderson
  • USA
  • 1999
  • 188 min.
  • R
  • 35mm
  • Assistive Listening
  • Hearing Loop
MAGNOLIA

Part of 1999

For his third feature, writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson embraced the Douglas Sirk maxim of “More… Everything… Maybe too much.” Often, in these stylized rondelays about the interconnectedness of the human condition, the smoothed-down edges will betray the structuralist impulses at their center. Not so MAGNOLIA, a film carved from sharp corners and messy collisions, an emotionally violent portrait of the highways and byways of Los Angeles that never once lets the viewer off easy — leaving the viewer subject to the breadth of the human experience from the hurt of a lonely child all the way up to (possibly) the wrath of an angry god. With a staggering cast that serves up all the emotions, the end result is the kind of ambitious swing that people still speak of in sputtering amazement and the dazed bliss of an unqualifiable itch thoroughly scratched.

“A hothouse flower, all right, but its perfume is close to intoxicating.” —Jim Ridley, Nashville Scene

“A wonderful mess.” —Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader

“The botanical implications are apt: Paul Thomas Anderson's big, showy flower of a movie unfurls brilliantly.” —Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly

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