This is my personal favorite film of all time and each time I see it I get something more out of it.
So do yourself a favor and give it a try. All of Andersons movies are outstanding, but Magnolia is more than that.
The rain of fogs has a touch of cosmic mystery both awesome and terrifying, but the storm of frogs changes the mental and physical reality of people endured in the storm. Some decks are reshuffled and given another chance to play it right; some are wiped away, while some remain the same. However, the movie is ultimately optimistic in the power of human love and forgiveness in making life meaningful and endurable. The divine power in this film is not the cuddling micro-manager of sweetness, but a stern, inscrutable force giving human the full lot of freewill, redeemed only the the potentiality of love and forgiveness. It is up to us to make heaven or hell in our own lives; we don't need hereafter to know where we live in the Dantesque Comedy here on earth. The Freewill reigned supreme in those cruel old men who inflicted so much damage to their children. That is true Freewill, unadulterated by wishful-thinkings. That is the darkness of human souls. The next generation may continue, given the inheritance of their anger and pain, to inflict new pain upon their own children. Cruise's character is the manifestation of burying deep suffering through inflicting suffering. However is also reign supreme in the act of love and compassion of hospice nurse, the policeman, and the trophy wife played by Moore.
Really the best movie that has been out in the last 15 years.
A movie overly reliant on its great performances that demands a lot from the viewer even when it doesnt give enough for the viewer to really care for the deeper meaning of these interesting but strangely paced and overly complicated plots that while necesary can easily be unrewarding by its conclusion.
In what plays like a sophisticated Lifetime drama, these characters come to face their pasts and hope for a brighter future. However, with a confusing yet no less inspired ending, director Paul Thomas Anderson leaves the film as a question as to what is truly possible in connections and in relationships. Throughout the film, there are anecdotes about incredible coincidences and discussions about the fundamentals of movie plotpoints. Anderson leaves us wondering whether these resolved endings are truly possible in life. While it could be seen as a commentary on the ridiculousness of how some movies end, I have no doubt it is an inspiring message that allows people to try to achieve those happy endings that sometimes seemed to be trapped in the films we love to watch.
Magnolia is a very competent film: using songs by Aimee Mann, the film never falters from the bittersweet tone that encompasses life. Anderson utilizes the camera to never leave a dull moment, but by far, these actors' performances stand out above all. In what can only be described as Williams-esque, each actor gives a fully flushed out emotional journey that leaves not one person questioning the authenticity of each particular feeling. Tom Cruise particularly stands out, with a complexity and development that could surmount to the best of his career. All in all, Magnolia can hold its own. Although dragging its feet at times with filler, the entire experience is an enjoyable one; it's a film that will keep the characters in your heart, and its blatant, but no less timeless lessons in your life.