It has been a while since I first saw this film, but it was already on video when I did. I thought I didn’t have to see a film with Tom Cruise who wasn’t exactly my favourite actor. When I did see it, I was pretty impressed. Not only Tom Cruise is really great in this film (and not as much present as I expected), but overall this is a wonderfull film.
“Magnolia” has different stories of different people and the stories either or not come together. Not a line that you never read in my reviews, right? Well, Magnolia was -as I remember- on of the first films who worked with this concept and worked it out well. There are stories of different people in the worst periods of their lives. You will see a dying old man, Earl Partridge (Jason Robards) being watched over by the nurse Phil Parma (Philip Hoffman). Then there is Earl’s totally stressed out and way too young second wife Linda Partridge (Juliane Moore) who got totally depressed when her husband dies and when she realises how she treated him. Tom Cruise plays a great part as Frank Mackey who gives workshop to men to learn them to rule over women. Frank is Earls son and the two haven’t met in many years. Then there is a good Christian cop called Jim Kurring (John Reilly), who meets the drug-addicted Claudia Gator (Melora Walter) who on her turn is the daughter of quiz-master Jimmy Gater (Philip Hall), but they have a very bad contact since Claudia thinks that her father abused her in her childhood, while Jimmy (who is dying of cancer) doesn’t remember that. There are stories of quiz-kids and a former quiz-kid who was ruined by his parents.
Sounds pretty complex, not? Well, the film lasts for three hours but they are gone before you know it. All in all it isn’t a too complex film I think. It is quite depressive though, since it really shows peoples shortnesses and fears and most of the people are -as mentioned- in a very bad period of their lives.
“Magnolia” is a film that you have to be in the mood for, but I can asure you it is great!