Monday, December 24, 2012

Movie of the Week – Magnolia

Movie of the week: Magnolia (1999).

The ensemble drama focuses on a group of people living in the San Fernando Valley.

Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson went to a different level with his filmmaking with his third film Magnolia (expanding on the ensemble idea crafted and grown in Hard Eight and Boogie Nights). The style of Anderson’s directing and his fantastic writing give the film so much emotional depth and resonance. It is an experience all cinema fans should have. Anderson has made six films to date, and while There Will Be Blood and The Master (his two latest) might be is best, Magnolia is his first great film.

Anderson worked with many of his frequent collaborators on the film, including composer Jon Brion (three Anderson films), cinematographer Robert Elswit (five Anderson films) and production designers William Arnold (two Anderson films) and Mark Bridges (all six Anderson films).

The great and diverse cast features Anderson frequents Julianne Moore, William H. Macy, John C. Reilly, Philip Baker Hall, Alfred Molina, Melora Walters, Luis Guzman, Ricky Jay, and Philip Seymour Hoffman, as well as stars like Tom Cruise, Jason Robards, and Felicity Huffman. Also, look out for cameos from Patton Oswalt, Thomas Jane, Clark Gregg, and Jim Beaver.

The 1990s featured a few brilliant ensemble films that changed filmmaking (The Player, The Thin Red Line, Boogie Nights, Glengarry Glen Ross, Heat, and Reservoir Dogs), but two stand out above the rest: Pulp Fiction and Magnolia. The film was nominated for three Oscars including Best Supporting Actor (for Tom Cruise) and Best Writing. It is among the films that are mandatory viewing for those looking to have a strong working knowledge of film history/aesthetics, auteur filmmakers and the great films of the 1990s.

Trailer: Here
Available on: Blu-ray, DVD and Streaming

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