Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Writer(s): Paul Thomas Anderson
Category: Drama
Runtime: 188 min
Country: USA
Language: English
Year: 1999
Tagline: Things fall down. People look up. And when it rains, it pours.

Plot: From director Paul Thomas Anderson comes a mosaic of American life woven through a series of comedic and poignant vignettes. Through chance, human action, past history and divine intervention, an eclectic cast of characters (including Tom Cruise, Julianne Moore, William H. Macy and more) weaves and warps through each other’s lives on a random San Fernando Valley day, building an unforgettable climax.

Review: This movie is not for the faint of heart. I made the mistake of starting this movie at 10:30pm thinking that it’d be the usual 1.5 hour movie. I should have looked at the sleeve more closely, this movie is over 3 hours long. Not to mention the fact that Anderson pushes the boundaries of storytelling by interweaving a multitude of characters to tell one story, or message. This is a “thinking man’s” movie and not something to just flip through like so many movies released today.

The script is great, but Anderson has also put together a fantastic cast to bring it to life. John C. Reilly, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Philip Baker Hall are some of the best character actors around and they just light up the screen. Tom Cruise who gives a stand out performance as Frank T.J. Mackey (host of an infomercial called “Seduce and Destroy”), Julianne Moore, William H. Macy round out the cast and bring a little star power along with them. But there are a ton of more actors in this ensemble piece, such as Jason Robards, but the list is simply too long to list.

It’s so hard to review this film, simply because it is told in such a unique way. All of the characters are connected to one another in some way shape and form and Anderson uses a variety of styles to tell the story. In fact, at one point, it’s almost a music video as all of the major characters lip sync to one of the cuts from the soundtrack. This movie is funny, sad, poignant, and absurd. It’s simply one of those films that you’ll be talking about days after seeing it, still trying to put all the pieces together. Overall, this film is a movie lover’s feast. A feast full of rich a delectable tastes. Dig in.

My Rating: 4 Stars (4 out of 5 stars)
My IMDB Review: [link]