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Magnolia [DVD] [1999]

Tom Cruise , Philip Seymour Hoffman , Paul Thomas Anderson    To Be Announced   DVD
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)

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Frequently Bought Together

Magnolia [DVD] [1999] + Boogie Nights [DVD] [1998] + Punch-Drunk Love [DVD] [2010]
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Product details

  • Actors: Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Jason Robards, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly
  • Directors: Paul Thomas Anderson
  • Format: PAL
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 2 (This DVD may not be viewable outside Europe. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • Classification: To be announced
  • Studio: Warner Home Video
  • Run Time: 186 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (144 customer reviews)


Product Description

Paul Thomas Anderson's acclaimed ensemble drama starring, among many others, Julianne Moore, Phillip Seymour Hoffman and Tom Cruise. The lives of various inhabitants of Los Angeles and San Fernando valley intersect when dying television producer Earl Partridge (Jason Robards) seeks a reconciliation with his womanising son, Frank T.J. Mackey (Cruise). Meanwhile, game show host Jimmy Gator (Philip Baker Hall) - also dying of cancer - tries to reconcile with his coke addict daughter Claudia, who embarks on a relationship with cop Jim Kurring (John C. Reilly). Jimmy's last television appearance goes awry when child genius contestant Stanley Spector (Jeremy Blackman) - who is bullied by his father, Rick (Michael Bowen) - refuses to participate, while Donnie Smith (William H. Smith), a former contestant on the show in the 1960s, declares his love to barman Brad (Craig Kvinsland).


A handful of people in California's San Fernando Valley are having one hell of a day. TV mogul Earl Partridge (Jason Robards) is on his deathbed and his trophy wife (Julianne Moore) is stockpiling tranquilliser prescriptions all over town with alarming determination. Earl's nurse (Philip Seymour Hoffman) is trying desperately to get in touch with Earl's only son, sex-guru Frank TJ Mackey (Tom Cruise), who's about to have his carefully constructed past blown by a TV reporter (April Grace). Whiz kid Stanley (Jeremy Blackman) is being goaded by his selfish dad into breaking the record for the game show What Do Kids Know? Meanwhile, Stanley's predecessor, the grown-up quiz kid Donnie Smith (William H. Macy) has lost his job and is nursing a severe case of unrequited love. And the host of What Do Kids Know?, the affable Jimmy Gator (Philip Baker Hall), like Earl, is dying of cancer, and his attempt to reconcile with his cokehead daughter (Melora Walters) fails miserably. She, meanwhile, is running hot and cold with a cop (John C. Reilly) who would love to date her, if she can sit still for long enough. And over it all, a foreboding sky threatens to pour something more than just rain.

This third feature from Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights) is a maddening, magnificent piece of film-making, and an ensemble film to rank with the best of Robert Altman (Short Cuts, Nashville)--every little piece of the film means something, solidly placed for a reason. Deftly juggling a breathtaking ensemble of actors, Anderson crafts a tale of neglectful parents, resentful children, and love-starved souls that's amazing in scope, both thematically and emotionally. Part of the charge of Magnolia is seeing exactly how many characters Anderson can juggle, and can he keep all those balls in the air (indeed he can, even if it means throwing frogs into the mix). And it's been far too long since we've seen a film-maker whose love of making movies is so purely joyful. This electric energy is reflected in the actors, from Cruise's revelatory performance to Reilly's quietly powerful turn as the moral centre of the story. While at three hours it's definitely not suited to everyone's taste, Magnolia is a compelling, heartbreaking, ultimately hopeful meditation on the accidents of chance that make up our lives. The soundtrack features eight wonderful songs by Aimee Mann, including "Save Me", around which Anderson built the script. --Mark Englehart --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars OMG 19 Nov 2008
By EmmaH
Format:DVD|Verified Purchase
I read a lot - at least by most people's standards. And I watch quite a few films. And the vast majority of what I read/watch leaves me feeling just so-so. Take it or leave it. Though now and then I'll think something is good. Maybe very good. Five-stars-out-of-five good.

And then - very, very occasionally - you come across something which is another-order-of-magnitude good. Something which just takes your breath away and doesn't give it back until you turn the last page or watch the closing credits roll up in front of you. And you realise that what it's all been for. That's why you've ploughed through all those novels or sat through all those movies. To get to here.

Last year I got there with Victor Pelevin's The Clay Machine Gun. Last night I found myself there again when I watched a film I knew nothing about but had popped on my Lovefilm list after seeing an interesting review. Magnolia. Where was I in 1999 when this was released? What was I doing? How could it possibly have come to a point where, nine years later, I'd never even heard of this film?

I won't even try to describe it to you - beyond saying that it follows the interlocking lives of a series of characters in Los Angeles - but it was absolutely captivating. Several minutes into the opening montage I had that feeling of absolute 'rightness'. That sense that there was absolutely nothing in the world I'd rather be doing at this moment than sitting here, laptop propped up on my knees, watching what was unfolding in front of me. And three hours later (yes, it's long, but then, hell, so is War and Peace) I was still captivated. And open-mouthed. Literally. Towards the end my jaw actually dropped, I was so astounded and moved and transfixed by what was happening on the screen.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Modern Masterpiece 26 Dec 2004
Paul Thomas Anderson's third feature film is without a doubt one of the greatest films of the 90s. It was here that PTA perfected his brilliant directing style and screen writing ability.
An ensemble piece showing how the lives of 10 characters changes over the course of one rainy evening doesn't sound original, but the script is so wonderful and the acting talent - especially Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore and William H Macy manages to truly bring the script to life. The final hour brings us through so many ups and downs as the characters stories intertwine into one of the most brilliantly executed climaxes in film history. This is what truly sets the film apart from many other ensemble films, such as Robert Altman's 'Short Cuts', or Todd Solondz's 'Happiness'.
PTA also manages to use music to marvellous effect. Not only is Jon Brion's haunting score a prefect companion to the non-stop drama, but Aimee Mann songs also appear throughout the film. At one point, all the characters are linked in their respective scenes, singing along to Aimee Mann's 'Wise Up'. It sounds stupid, but it is so perfectly executed that it simply adds an extra element to this amazing film.
Thanks to this film, and all his other wonderful films, PTA manages to lead the group of all the upcoming new generation of film-makers (Wes Anderson, Alexander Payne, Spike Jonze etc). Let's hope he can continue making films to this standard (his 2002 follow up 'Punch-Drunk Love' was a slight let down for me) although it is very unlikely he (or anyone else) will ever reach the heights of the masterpiece that is, Magnolia.
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27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
It saddens me, and at the same time makes me chuckle slightly, reading the reviews of those that deem this film 'too long', 'boring' and so on. It's not confusing when you realise that the film is about different aspects of life, and the wonderfully uncategorisable people that reside in it.
It's a long movie, but its epic scale demand this length. 'The Characters aren't interesting' said one review...well let me say this: if you need a character to be simple, unsophisticated, happy-go-lucky and straight out of the Hollywood back-catalogue, then this might be the case; For those of us that love really intelligent and engaging films, Magnolia hits all the right notes.
The singing scene will split audiences down the middle, but it certainly stays in your memory long after the final credits. Infact, the whole film, from each wonderfully rendered character study to the brilliant details such as the biblical allusions of the plague of frogs, is mesmerising.
If the film starts rather confusingly, it's purely because the it does SO much in 3 hours. It's not slow moving in terms of emotional intensity or the sheer realism of the astonshing events that make up the lives of those we watch. And the result? - A film that, like American Beauty -far more cinema-friendly for many, I'm sure, (but possibly the inferior movie) explores the amazing details of life, love and death that pervade everyone's existence.
I loved it. And if you've got this far in the review, you will too. Buy it.
Peter Wilson (London)Email your views to me!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars interlacing lives and interwoven stories 3 Nov 2000
By A Customer
Starting with the fact that three people died in circumstances that most people would say 'that only happens in films' the film moves foward unfurling stories within stories to engulf each character. Confused, you won't when you see the film! The fact that these individual stories do interlace and that the character do cross each others live, just proves that there are 'odd' events that do really happen! I for one have experienced a time when 'coincidence' could not have been stated, but rather fated.
A truly remarkable film with a script that young-eager scriptwriters will need to read and diseminate to produce high quality good movies that make the audience feel rather than just be entertained. The story of coincidence is finely put onto the screen with real emotion.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars Better than advertised
Was actually better than advertised.....said it was a us import, but had a bbfc certificate and uk branding. Great film, astounding price. Good one
Published 8 days ago by michael
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
Great service, great film!
Published 2 months ago by Mel Staniforth
5.0 out of 5 stars the neccessity of grounding karma - reminds me of American Beauty
Angels exist - the nurse, boy and policeman - it's all about life experience and the neccesity of cleaning of karma
cool film - reminds me of American Beauty
Published 2 months ago by R.Potter
1.0 out of 5 stars Mind-numbingly bad
Truly, truly, tedious and at over 3 hours; a complete waste of an evening. The one highlight (and I never, ever thought I'd say this about him...) is Tom Cruise. Read more
Published 3 months ago by AggroTheAnalyst
5.0 out of 5 stars I love this film even though very confusing throughout you understand...
Came very quickly, I love this film even though very confusing throughout you understand it at the end, ( goes backwards through the story) watching it the second time it's even... Read more
Published 3 months ago by Anne
4.0 out of 5 stars a tour-de-force with a few drawbacks
This is an ambitiously put-together movie, directed by Paul Thomas Anderson ("There Will Be Blood" and "Boogie Nights"), and if you haven't seen it, I recommend that you give it a... Read more
Published 6 months ago by Stanley Crowe
4.0 out of 5 stars An Unknown!
I had never seen this film but, after reading all the rave reviews, I decided to give it a go. No regrets. Read more
Published 14 months ago by QM1
4.0 out of 5 stars Okay
The film wasn't, in my opinion, incredible. To be fair though it was more than watchable and everything else about the product was perfect.
Published 17 months ago by Connor
1.0 out of 5 stars Magnolia
This was dreadful and very bitty trying to put to many different stories together and a lot of swearing in it.
Published 18 months ago by Zillah Nicolle
5.0 out of 5 stars There will be frogs.
I've seen the film a few times and never tire of the wonderful, intense performances by all the cast. Read more
Published 19 months ago by Lacrimosa
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