jonnycinema’s review published on Letterboxd:
If you've read my reflections here, you'll know that I can get a bit wordy and introspective at times. Especially for films I love. And while 'Boogie Nights' is that, you're not gonna get that type of reflection here. I've seen this film numerous times, and it's a mainstay in my all-time faves.
so, instead of a bunch of paragraphs, I'm just gonna list some of the things I love about this perfect work of art:
• That opening tracking shot (soundtracked by ‘Best of My Love’?!)
• The donut shop scene (I could do a whole analysis on this scene alone. Any other film, this would be the best one. Here, it’s maybe 3rd?)
• Sequence at Rahad’s place: the firecrackers, the tension among everyone, how it’s conveyed that Dirk changes/has his epiphany of sorts
• ‘SISTER CHRISTIAN’
• When Dirk and his mother are arguing, and the camera quickly shows the stepdad…forlorn, anguish (brief but says so much, it’s genius)
• The literal gunshot of a transition from the 70s to the 80s
• The Dirk Diggler-Amber Waves sex scene, it’s just so…professional, and honest
• When Dirk and Reed first meet at the pool party (or any Dirk and Reed scene tbh)
• Rollergirl stomping out that frat bro (plus the juxtaposition of Dirk unfortunately being jumped by those homophobic thugs)
• Luis Guzman, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Don Cheadle, Melora Walters, Thomas Jane, Julianne Moore (the greatest)…pretty much everyone, it’s the best ensemble cast ever (even Wahlberg is tolerable here)
• How the prejudices against porn stars in the everyday world are shown (particularly in the struggles of Buck, and Amber)
• The script, the pacing, the direction, it really is perfect
• A film that is deeper, darker, and ultimately more life-affirming than it may get credit for. It’s about the makeshift family that these people created…making the best of your circumstances.