Saturday, January 23, 2010

#30 Magnolia - proving once again that I can stay awake to watch a crazy man's movie

1999. dir. P.T. Anderson. starring Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Melora Walters, Jason Robards, Philip Baker hall, Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, Jeremy Blackman.

Have you seen it before? Not entirely

Exodus 82, Raining frogs, 9 characters who seemingly have no real relationship with each other: an egomaniac who makes it his life's work to seduce women at any and all costs, a child genius (when he was a child), another child genius (whose father is actually a pretty awful guy), the ailing man in bed with a hot young wife who tries (and fails) at suicide twice, the male nurse who takes care of the man in hospice, oh, and another ailing man who happens to be a game-show host, with a daughter who is self-loathing, a coke-head and crazy but is pretty damn sure her father did something to her he wasn't supposed to, and a cop who is pretty lame at his job.

You would think these people have nothing to do with each other but then you'd be wrong because you didn't watch the movie close enough. The egomaniac (Cruise) is the son of the ailing man who is bedridden and happens to be married to the hot woman and cared for by the male nurse. He produced a game show which starred the other ailing man who met the former child genius, works with the current child genius, and happened to be accused by his daughter, the nutty coke-head who ends up with the lame cop, of abuse. Yes, there's more to the story but if I had to suffer Paul Thomas Anderson's insanity, to find out what I'm saying you are going to have to as well!

There's more behind the story and I'm sure I'll get more out of it on a second or third watch but I'm going to have to be high or drunk in order for you to get me to watch it again any time soon...and I have 220 other movies still to watch. Cruise was A-MA-ZING! Though I think the costume department got a bit carried away when he was in his back to Risky Business flashback moment.The guy who plays the kids' father was one of those parents, as an educator, I just wanted to beat over the head and scream at for treating his son like a cash cow and not the truly gifted child he is...also, where the hell was the kid's mother?!?!? The lame cop spent too much time narrating his police duties which led to showing just what an incredibly bad cop he is...there was a story line where he went into a woman's house and discovered a dead body in the closet then it cut to the next scene where he's in the background (remember what I typed just before this last phrase) and doesn't do any of the talking about what he saw. Julianne Moore plays every role really well. I so have a crush on her!

The movie as a whole didn't irritate me despite the length of over three hours of film...I swear, I can't imagine there were deleted scenes but really, truly, there were!...nearly as much as the featurette of Paul Thomas Anderson and the making of this film...PTA is a complete nut job! He's high, or drunk, or really, just mom says true creative geniuses don't talk like regular people and I didn't understand what she meant until I watched the extras on the Blu-ray. The guy is freaky! If I was tripping I would probably have understood only a fraction of the things coming out of his mouth. It was good to see the other characters in their "real-life" personalities poke fun at their writer/director.

Would I see it again? Ask me in a few years
Would I add it to my collection? Probably not

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