Title: Magnolia
Year: 1999
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson
Starring: John C. Reilly, Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore, Philip Baker Hall, Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, Alfred Molina, Jason Robards, Melora Walters
Music: Jon Brion (and Aimee Mann)
Distinctions: Oscar nominations for Best Original Screenplay, Best Supporting Actor (Cruise) and Best Song (“Save Me”); currently #230 on IMDb’s Top 250
Synopsis: various stories intersect
How I saw it: on video a number of times (used to have on DVD), most recently August 2008
Subjective Rating: 9/10 (One of my favorites).
Objective Rating: 10/10 c. 3.8/4 (Great).

One of the only of the “intersecting stories” films that manages to pull itself together dramatically. Each story has it’s own arc, but so does the movie as a whole. It’s made up of scenes that would be the climax in most movies, leading up to a moment that manages to top them all. The first time you see the movie, you could never conceivably see it coming; afterwards, you can see that the narrative demanded it.


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