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Daniel Corleone's Movie Reviews (1781)

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Magnolia 
Magnolia review
4/4 stars

A picture filled with solid drama and dark humor that pulls you in as each story unfolds. It is unbelievable how several figures are well developed, you never keep your eyes off each scene which diminishes doubts of its length. So many sensitive subjects presented based upon each main character: sexist repressed self-help guru - Frank T.J. Mackey (portrayed superbly by Tom Cruise which earned him a best supporting role), lack of parental guidance - Donnie Smith (William H. Macy), compassionate and resourcefulness - Phil (Hoffman), peer pressure - Stanley Spector (Blackman), time lost - Jimmy Gator (Phillip Baker Hall), inner demons due to guilt - Linda Partridge (astounding performance from Julianne Moore), guilt and regret - Earl Partridge (Robards), righteousness and sincere - Officer Jim Kurring (Reilly), and addiction and insecurity - Claudia Gator (Walters).

The soundtrack, pace of the story, camera direction, screenplay and acting were just perfection. So many lines to enjoy and ponder: Donnie - "I really do have love to give; I just don't know where to put it." Jim - "In this life and in this world, I want to do well. And I want to help people...And as we move through this life we should try and do good. " Earl - "I'll tell you the greatest regret of my life: I let my love go." You can see yourself glued to the backs of the characters as they are woven and intertwined based on their respective experiences. The more you watch this the more you learn something new, technically and morally, a true mark of a great film. In the words of Stanley - "This happens. This is something that happens." since the raining animals (also mentioned by Jim "It's raining cats and dogs out there.") for me represents the sins of adultery, bad fatherhood and the plague. A skillfully crafted epic that exposes real life flaws in every household regardless of your gender or stature. Magnolia is one of those one in a lifetime films that comes around, and one shouldn't have any regrets seeing this masterpiece at least once.


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