I might add that the use of Aimee Mann’s music in Magnolia was spectacular. “One,” “Save Me,” and especially “Wise Up.” While it was an incongruous break in the film, it also served to show the similarities in each of the characters while setting a perfect mood across all of the various storylines. That and the frogs were two of my favourite points in the movie, by far.
Perhaps i am missing some vital piece of brain, but i think Magnolia was a movie with the utmost potential but zero payoff. Every actor and actress in the film was stunning, and each plot was riveting, but all of those elements threaded together made for a too-long mess of a movie in which you don’t ever really get a chance to sympathize with a single character. And maybe that was the point. However, some things seemed plain old extraneous. The William Macy plot could have been easily removed, especially since it seemed to drag the most. We didn’t need to see that much of Tom Cruise talking. Every monologue which spoke over a montage of scenes was lacking content, especially when given from a deathbed.
That said, some parts of the movie were absolutely fantastic. Julianne Moore’s frenetic soon-to-be widow was awesome, John C. Reilly’s bumbling cop proves that he is a character actor to be reckoned with, and Melora Walters coke-head was unbelievable (in the most believable way possible). I found myself glued to the all of Reilly’s plots and most of Moore’s, but Macy and his younger counterpart (who was a movie unto himself (and his monologues were awfu)) sent me running to the kitchen for more ice cream. I’d love to see a version of this movie with some of the long pauses in the slow plots edited down. However, long meaningful pauses with the better characters were nothing but sweetness, and i loved the frogs. I suppose you should decide for yourself, but i would have rather worked for 3 hours to pay for the amazing Aimee Mann soundtrack.
I caught myself crushing up Altoids with a spoon last night. Obviously i’ve got to stay away from those Paul Thomas Anderson movies.
some comments on that last bit: My favourite songs tend to reflect my favourite albums of the moment, but as you can see there are a few departures from that list. The new Elastica album is wonderful, but it has only made me lust after the 1:33 of perfection that is “All-Nighter” even more. The split entries represent songs that i usually listen to in pairs on the albums they come from. On Nina Gordon’s album, the two are really the only ones i like, but on Tracy Bonham’s and Weezer’s they’re barely better than the rest. The Pretenders are on the list just because “Back on the Chain Gang” melts my whole world. As for Ani, “Swing” is from her new EP and her last LP, “Itch” is from Not So Soft (which i recently gushed about), and the live “Firedoor” (featuring an awesome segue into “Rapper’s Delight”) is from a 1999 radio show from Stockholm.
current top10 songs
All-Nighter – Elastica
Swing – Ani DiFranco
Only You Know / Disconnected – Veruca Salt
2003 / Now I Can Die – Nina Gordon
Paper Bag / The Way Things Are – Fiona Apple
Itch – Ani DiFranco
Say It Ain’t So / Surf Wax America – Weezer
Back On The Chain Gang – The Pretenders
Jumping Bean / Thumbelina – Tracy Bonham
Fire Door (live) – Ani DiFranco