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Magnolia (1999)

R | | Drama | 7 January 2000 (USA)
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An epic mosaic of interrelated characters in search of love, forgiveness, and meaning in the San Fernando Valley.
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1,431 ( 1)
Nominated for 3 Oscars. Another 28 wins & 55 nominations. See more awards »

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Pat Healy ... Sir Edmund William Godfrey / Young Pharmacy Kid
Genevieve Zweig Genevieve Zweig ... Mrs. Godfrey
Mark Flanagan Mark Flanagan ... Joseph Green (as Mark Flannagan)
Neil Flynn ... Stanley Berry
Rod McLachlan ... Daniel Hill
Allan Graf ... Firefighter
Patton Oswalt ... Delmer Darion
Raymond 'Big Guy' Gonzales Raymond 'Big Guy' Gonzales ... Reno Security Guard
Brad Hunt ... Craig Hansen
Jim Meskimen ... Forensic Scientist
Chris O'Hara ... Sydney Barringer
Clement Blake ... Arthur Barringer
Frank Elmore Frank Elmore ... 1958 Detective
John Kraft Seitz John Kraft Seitz ... 1958 Policeman
Cory Buck Cory Buck ... Young Boy
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Storyline

24 hours in L.A.; it's raining cats and dogs. Two parallel and intercut stories dramatize men about to die: both are estranged from a grown child, both want to make contact, and neither child wants anything to do with dad. Earl Partridge's son is a charismatic misogynist; Jimmy Gator's daughter is a cokehead and waif. A mild and caring nurse intercedes for Earl, reaching the son; a prayerful and upright beat cop meets the daughter, is attracted to her, and leads her toward a new calm. Meanwhile, guilt consumes Earl's young wife, while two whiz kids, one grown and a loser and the other young and pressured, face their situations. The weather, too, is quirky. Written by <jhailey@hotmail.com>

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Things fall down. People look up. And when it rains, it pours.

Genres:

Drama

Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated R for strong language, drug use, sexuality and some violence | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English | German | French

Release Date:

7 January 2000 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Mag·no'li·a See more »

Filming Locations:

California, USA See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$37,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$193,604, 19 December 1999

Gross USA:

$22,455,976

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$48,451,803
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | SDDS | DTS

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Paul Thomas Anderson wrote the bulk of the script during two weeks he spent at William H. Macy's Vermont cabin - afraid to go outside because he'd seen a snake. See more »

Goofs

During the argument between the adults and the kids during the game show, the kids and Cynthia, the show's producer, discover that Stanley peed in his pants. She appears in the shot right next to Stanley. When the camera cuts to show a different angle from the kids and the adults competitors, she disappears from the shot to later on return when there's a close-up with her and Stanley. See more »

Quotes

[first lines]
Narrator: In the New York Herald, November 26, year 1911, there is an account of the hanging of three men. They died for the murder of Sir Edmund William Godfrey; Husband, Father, Pharmacist and all around gentle-man resident of: Greenberry Hill, London. He was murdered by three vagrants whose motive was simple robbery. They were identified as: Joseph Green, Stanley Berry, and Daniel Hill. Green, Berry, Hill. And I Would Like To Think This was Only A Matter Of Chance. As reported in the Reno...
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Crazy Credits

Underneath the title at the end a line reads "for fa and ea". fa is Fiona Apple (Paul Thomas Anderson's girlfriend) ea is Ernie Anderson (Paul Thomas Anderson's father) See more »

Alternate Versions

In the script, there is an alternate storyline for Stanley. In it, instead of running to the school library where he reads the books about the geniuses, he runs away to a coffee shop. Also in the coffee shop are Dixon (the little boy who raps for Jim Curring) and the Worm (who is mentioned in the movie, both in the rap and during Marcie's interrogation). The Worm (who is Dixon's father) notices Stanley and motions for Dixon to leave. At this point, Dixon finds Linda passed out in her car. In the coffee shop, the Worm and Stanley talk about their fathers and Stanley offers to give the Worm the money he won on the game show. The frogs begin to fall from the sky as Dixon runs in, asks the Worm if he got the money from Stanley, then pulls a gun (the one which he stole from Jim Kurring) on Stanley, demanding his money. The Worm convinces Dixon to give the gun up. They leave the diner after the frogs fall, drive by Solomon and Solomon, and throw the gun from their speeding car, which lands by Jim and Donnie. From the DVD documentary, it seems like this scene was partially filmed and then PT Anderson decided to scrap it. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Midnight Screenings: Sabotage/Noah/God's Not Dead (2014) See more »

Soundtracks

Momentum
Written by Aimee Mann
Performed by Aimee Mann
Courtesy of Superego Records
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Frequently Asked Questions

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User Reviews

Spellbinding ride through one day
8 November 2001 | by bob the mooSee all my reviews

A dazzling epic of coincidence and fate during one day in the San Fernando Valley. This opens with a short story about some "true-life" examples of coincidence designed to show us that these things can't "just happen" and that there must be more to it than that. It then flies into the lives of a handful of different characters in a exhilarating introduction to a game show host, a sex guru, a police officer, a dying father, a male nurse, a drug addict to name a few. After this the speed slows down slightly and the characters are given time to develop and the stories begin to interlink.

Paul Thomas Anderson continues to get better and better with Hard Eight, Boogie Nights and now this. Here he gives a human touch to the director where someone like Altman would have been colder and more clinical. He seems to care about these characters and encourages us to do likewise. The direction is astonishing - it moves at a fast pace when it needs to, it is still and watching when appropriate and, at times, it is downright beautiful in a visionary way. Anderson's tries some audacious tricks and manages to pull them off - a scan round all the main characters singing an Aimee Mann track while they contemplate what's become of their lives is not only daring but works as one of the most moving moments in the film.

The acting is flawless - Cruise deserved the Oscar for this performance, but he is only one of an amazing range of actors including Julianne Moore, William H. Macy, Phillip Seymour Hoffman, John C. Reilly, Jason Robards, Philip Baker Hall etc. They are all excellent in their roles and make you care for all their characters - no matter how terrible they seem or how bad their crimes.

Direction is faultless, performances border on the brilliant, the script is totally convincing and moving. The only weak link is the biblical ending which may annoy some but I think fits in well with the tone of the film, after all, like the film says, "but it did happen".

If only all films could meet the standards achieved by this beautiful piece of work.


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