Magnolia

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Released 1999

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Movie Summary

Director:
Paul Thomas Anderson , Paul W.S. Anderson
Released:
1999
Rating:
R

Magnolia is the sprawling 1999 dramatic epic from visionary director Paul Thomas Anderson (There Will Be Blood, Boogie Nights, Punch Drunk Love). The story involves dozens of people, all dysfunctional, longing for love and linked in one way or another. The center is to be the dying Earl Partridge (Jason Robards), owner of a television network. Though he is in bed and constantly watched by his nurse, Phil Parma (Philip Seymour Hoffman), his foul-mouthed resentment for everything surrounding him manages to affect a series of individuals across L.A., reigniting old, bitter conflicts: there's Claudia (Melora Walters), a drug-addicted part-time hooker who embarks on a relationship with police officer Jim Kurring (John C. Reilly) while trying to forget the problems she has with her father, game show host Jimmy Gator (Philip Baker Hall); there's Stanley Spector (Jeremy Blackman), current champion of Gator's show 'What Do Kids Know?,' who feels there is something missing in his life, all focused on his remarkable intelligence and how his father (Michael Bowen) exploits it for fame and money; there's Donnie Smith (William H. Macy), aka Quiz Kid, former 'boy wonder' of the same show, now a lonely homosexual with nothing but regret for every single thing he's ever done; there's Linda (Julianne Moore), Earl's wife, devastated by the conflicting feelings she has for her husband; and there's the old man's son, Frank Mackey (Tom Cruise), a misanthropic nihilist who expresses his absolute hatred for the human race (women in the particular) through his controversial TV program 'Seduce and Destroy.'

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Metacritic Score

  • 80

    The New York Times

    It's astonishing to see a film begin this brilliantly only to torpedo itself in its final hour.

  • 80

    Los Angeles Times Kenneth Turan

    Drunk and disorderly on the pure joy of making movies. A frantic, flawed, fascinating film that is both impressive and a bit out of control, often at the same time.

  • 70

    Variety Emanuel Levy

    A remarkably inventive and audacious film that almost overcomes its flaws.

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    Categories

    Drama

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    Love & Romance