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Magnolia: Introductory Review Essay



Paul Thomas Anderson has had an impressionable effect in the movie-making world of Hollywood with his novel, albeit controversial productions. Born in 1970, Paul made his Hollywood debut with the movie Boogie Nights in 1997 as a 27 year old.

His fate seem to have been determined from an early age, as he was born in Studio City to Ernie Anderson, a voice actor (Rovi para 1). He grew up when the 1970s California pornography industry was thriving and his interest in the movie industry was aroused (para 2). He dropped out of New York University Film School at the age of 26 to concentrate on movie making (Modell para 1).

Earlier on he had been kicked out of sixth grade for indiscipline (Rove para 1). Despite being fired by a movie director for producing a disastrous movie on prostitution on gambling, Paul went on to become a Hollywood great and has released several movies such as Boogie Nights, Magnolia among others ( Rovi para 2, 3). This papers aim is to give an introductory review to the filmmaker himself, and the film Magnolia

Paul Anderson produced Magnolia in 1999, “a movie too good to be missed.” (Rovi para 4). Magnolia is a film based on the biblical notion explained in Exodus 8:2 and “examines the trials and tribulations of its ten main characters over the course of one day.” (Leong para 4; Dayu para 2). It is about some mysteriously bizarre events in the lives of the characters, which engage the audience all throughout the 3-hour movie.

The main theme is that we live in a world of random and infinite possibilities (Leong para 4). The story moves to portray characters that are pushed to unimaginable limits by one uncontrollable event after another. In this story Paul highlights the “concept of fate and destiny” and that we are victims of the consequences of the actions we take (para 5). The script end in a controversial way as some of characters and story lines ends up crumbling (Leong para 9; Dayu para 2).

Despite this script flow, the movie has an amazing cast of talent. The main character is non other than Tom Cruise, who acts as a cultist figure Frank Mackey, among others (Maslin para 6). Maslin continues to explain that the movie has great sound effect; Paul uses Aimee Mann’s song as the sound track (para 9). Tara in her 2002 review of the film argues that Paul employment of the camera works enhance the audiences understanding of the characters (para 9).

Paul’s previous movie Boogie Nights is a stack contrast to Magnolia. Boogie Night highlights the pop culture in 1970s California, a society wallowing in moral decadence. This movie embraces characters who accept pornography and drug abuse as a regular way of life (Maslin para 2). Unlike Magnolia, which operates on the spiritual realms, Boogie Nights has no biblical references; as its theme is to model a purely secular culture, which is dominated by the insatiable physical pleasures.

Paul Thomas Anderson is as controversial as his films. He has fallen out with many people because of his unconventional beliefs. His movie productions have been criticized in many quarters because of their explicit sexual content. This possibly mirrors a concealed identity in Paul’s character, bearing in mind his early exposure to sexually explicit movies. All said and done, Paul works continue to attract big audience and critics. He has established himself as an enigmatic filmmaker in Hollywood.

Works Cited

Leong, Anthony. “You’re never done with the past, because the past is never done with you.” Magnolia Movie Review, 1999.

Maslin, Janet. , Boogie Nights Film Festival Review, New York Times, 1997. Web.

Maslin, Janet. “New York Times, 1999. Web.

Rovi, Rebecca. “Full Bibliography: Paul Thomas Anderson”, New York Times, 2010. Web.

Tara. “Magnolia: The Western Hemisphere’s Lotus Flower”, Taras Review, 2002. Web.

Yang, Dayu. “,” 2006. Web.

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IvyPanda. "Magnolia: Introductory Review." August 21, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/magnolia-introductory-review/.


IvyPanda. 2019. "Magnolia: Introductory Review." August 21, 2019. https://ivypanda.com/essays/magnolia-introductory-review/.


IvyPanda. (2019) 'Magnolia: Introductory Review'. 21 August.

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