Magnolia Holds Up Reasonably Well 20 Years On

 In Drama, Good

The review:

Twenty years out, Paul Thomas Anderson’s Magnolia is full of incredible performances, especially by the men* and the film includes the usual Anderson mesmerizing aura. That said, some things didn’t work for me, namely the “random happenstance” that begins and ends the movie, but which I felt had no real connection to the movie itself.** It’s still worth the watch, especially for a particular reason I won’t spoil here.***

The verdict: Good

Cost: free from the Multnomah County Library
Where watched: at home (And I stayed up much too late on a Sunday night. It’s a three-hour movie.)

Consider also watching:

Further sentences:

*I found most of the women’s roles, especially Julianne Moore and Melora Walters, to have parts that left them with nothing much to do than be shrill.
**Also, John C. Reilly’s policeman character would have played differently today, and (as Boyfriend Matt pointed out) the movie is singularly focused on the experience of white people, so much so that the few people of color who appear are mostly irritants to the white actors’ stories.
***And which I didn’t remember as being so very bloody.


  • What’s your favorite P.T. Anderson film?
  • Who do you think got the best role in this film? (I think John C. Reiley.)

Favorite IMDB trivia item:

Claudia was the first character created, and the other characters were branched off from her.

Other reviews:

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