Magnolia 1999 ★★★★★

I've seen this film at least 10 times; from first watching, I had such a strong emotional response, and loved it so greatly, that I was unable to understand how anyone could not love it.

It's been 4 or 5 years since I've seen Magnolia. For the first time I saw its faults. I still love it very deeply. I still think it's brilliant. I still cried. But there are moments that are a little too much.

But there's so much perfection. The music, the score, is perfection. The humor is perfection. The characters and the editing and the cinematography and Philip Seymour Hoffman and Big Earl Partridge's monologue are all perfection.


  • This movie is a freight train on a collision course with itself... but I love it for that. P.T. Anderson is 5/5, not something I can say for anyone else. CANNOT WAIT FOR THE MASTER!

  • I love him so hard. Also watched the making of video that's on the DVD for the first time, and it's even more impressive that everything came together like it did.

  • Tom Cruise should of used this as a turning point, but after he went back into "movie star" mode...... those guy's are just way to obsessed with money

  • First time I watched it I was blown away as well. It's so good I totally understand why somebody would want to watch it 10 times. You're right it's everything right down to the music score that makes it such a wicked, wicked film.

  • It delivers my absolute favorite feeling in the world.

  • The only thing I dislike about it is that biblical references, I couldn't understand whether he was trying to show that this facts are, in fact, part of the biblical prophecy or what. But the morality of the story didn't catch me, I'd rather a more impassive film.

  • I'm not sure what those references are, Walter, because I haven't seen this yet, but looking ahead in PTA's canon might shine some light on his intentions


  • Haha, I didn't see There Will be Blood, but you better watch Magnolia and take you own conclusions. :P

  • hahaha Rick, but that's also a good point. I think it is useful to look at TWBB (and I'm even more excited for The Master).

    I just read your fantastic analysis Walter, but I think I still come out feeling slightly different. And here's where I'm going to give some big old disclaimer, I'm actually really the worst at trying to figure out meaning behind films, I am way more comfortable doing close readings/looking at technical aspects to back up arguments that others have made. I'm like the least original person ever. I'm also thinking this all out as I type, so apologies all around, basically.

    That said, overall I don't think that PTA is trying to speak to some Christian morality, but rather some underlying humanity.

    I think PTA seems to be pretty fascinated by religion, but more so the structures surrounding belief. The religious texts tell us that we should see coincidences as signs, but I believe PTA's view on this is pretty negative. All of the signs are there, but they don't necessarily point to any meaning. The classic signifiers without significance.

    People may search for meaning, but in the attempts to find it they are often led astray. Frank Mackey isn't so very different from Eli Sunday. None of the characters are entirely good or bad.

    But, having not grown up Christian, I'm sure there are things and significance I am missing. And in general lots of things I am missing =)

  • Oh Walter, you must see it! I would love to see your review. I just got the Blu Ray and have been meaning to do a rewatch.

  • Yes Walter, go see it right away! I'll watch Magnolia and we'll discuss :)

  • All right! I'll put it on my top priorities! :)

    And thanks for your kindness, Julie. I really need to watch Magnolia again and form a better opinion about it. I think your opinion is pretty relevant and I'll try to keep it in mind while watching. :)

  • Well I hadn't even attempted to solidify any serious thoughts until I read your detailed analysis. You've also given me a lot to think about on my next watch. OK, mutual wankfest over.

  • Hahaha, all right! :D

  • Awesome, I saw, and I'm so excited to read it. I feel like I need to watch the film again first (I'm so easily influenced in my opinions, and it's been a long time, and I only saw it once). So, once these Olympics are over, and after my beach vacation next week, I will watch and then consume your review. Excited!

  • Okay, can't wait to discuss with you, Julie! :) Thanks for the recommendation!

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