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Movie Review: Magnolia

Story: Take a day (a long one) in the San Fernando Valley, mix in a bunch of oddly connected story lines, a pinch on synchronicity, a dash of humor, a cup of pathos, a leap of faith and you have 29 year old writer and director PT Anderson's (Boogie Nights) Magnolia.

A three hour and ten minute mostly fast paced sojourn into the past, present and future of his many assorted characters. I truly enjoyed the film - it is a grand ride with great talent - but all of the stories did not resolve themselves to my satisfaction at the end.

Acting: Many of the cast members appeared in his Boogie Nights and like that movie, which I adored, this cast is also terrific. Tom Cruise has a break out performance (I now forgive him for Eyes Wide Shut) as Frank TJ Mackey, a macho guru (PT Anderson again embellishes the 'maleness' of his characters - remember Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights? - well, he has done a similar extension to Tom Cruises' character in the underwear scene). Philip Seymour Hoffman (Flawless) is terrific as the hospice nurse, Julianne Moore (End of the Affair and every other movie made in '99) is a bit over the top, Philip Baker Hall (Cradle Will Rock), Jason Robards, Melinda Dillon (Close Encounters), and John C. Reilly (Boogie Nights) are all terrific. William H. Macy is starting to bother me as the same guy all of the time and Melora Walters was annoying but good as the coke head.

Pets: Four dogs and many frogs

Visual Art: Some collages

Sappy Factor: 2

Quirky Meter: 7

Length: One hour and ten minutes over the 2 hour rule. Points MUST be deducted.