Magnolia - 1999 - Paul Thomas Anderson
I first thing I think of when watching Magnolia is the greatness of Short Cuts but, that's another story. Anderson's tale of people struggling with assorted difficulties during one fateful day in Los Angeles plays to the strengths and skills of the director. Anderson manages to coax wonderful performances out of everyone in this film. Philip Seymour Hoffman, John C. Reilly, and the stunning Julianne Moore all stand out. The look of the film is nothing life changing but it gets the job done. The score is uneven raging from spot on to intrusive and overbearing. The thing that keeps Magnolia from being a great film instead of just a very good one is an ending that, if you don't buy into it, feels hallow. At a little over three hours it is quite an investment of time but, worthwhile overall.