Magnolia | Chicago Reader

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Rated R · 188 minutes · 2000

Drama
A wonderful mess. Writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson's third feature (1999), over three hours long, represents a quantum leap in ambition from Hard Eight and Boogie Nights and is much more interesting, though he's no longer in full command of everything he's trying to do. He's handicapped himself with the worst kind of TV-derived crosscutting among his (ultimately interconnected) miniplots. But the movie has a splendidly deranged essayistic prologue (which tries to justify an outrageous climax), the best Tom Cruise performance I've ever seen (incidentally, it's a scorching critique of his other performances), some delicate work by John C. Reilly as a sensitive cop, and provocative material about the unhealthy aspects of hyping whiz kids on TV. The heavy-duty cast, full of Anderson regulars, also includes Jason Robards, Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Melora Walters, Jeremy Blackman, Michael Bowen, Melinda Dillon, and Emmanuel Johnson.
Official Site: www.magnoliamovie.com
Director: Paul Anderson
Writer: Paul Anderson
Producer: Paul Anderson, Michael De Luca, Lynn Harris, Daniel Lupi and Joanne Sellar
Cast: Jason Robards, Julianne Moore, Tom Cruise, Philip Hoffman, John Reilly, Melora Walters, Jeremy Blackman, Michael Bowen, William Macy, Philip Hall, Melinda Dillon, Emmanuel Johnson, Michael Murphy, Luis Guzman, April Grace, Orlando Jones, Ricky Jay, Henry Gibson, Felicity Huffman, Alfred Molina, Don McManus, Eileen Ryan and Danny Wells

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