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Andrew's Movie Reviews (54)

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Magnolia 
Ambitious and epic
3.5/4 stars

Magnolia is an extremely ambitious film that has many intersecting plots and sub-plots. It is a great character study, as we see the intimate thoughts and feelings of each character as he/she struggles through life in the San Fernando Valley in the late 90s. Anderson is clearly a great director and only a truly great director could have pulled this very complicated movie together. The cast is fantastic, full of Oscar winners and nominees (Cruise, Moore, Macy, Hoffman, Reilly, and Robards), as well as one of the finest character actors (Hall). Melora Waters is also fantastic as Claudia Wilson Gator.

Many will criticize this film for its length and these criticisms are valid. The film could have been shorter or maybe even broken up into two separates films, but overall the story flows quite well. However, the major flaw that this film has is that it often descends into sustained fits of screaming and profanity. While this is somewhat entertaining at first, it ultimately becomes annoying midway through the film. In addition, the ending is quite ridiculous. I know that the phenomenon featured at the end of the film is indeed possible, but it is ridiculousness hurts the film's credibility and serves as distraction from the plights of the major characters. However, these criticisms are very small compared to how great this film is otherwise. It is certainly worth watching and is one of the best written films I have ever seen. Paul Thomas Anderson is truly one of the greatest working directors.


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