Magnolia

Magnolia ★★★★½

a dizzying number of characters and storylines, united by a rare rain in LA and the later iconic storm of frogs. tom cruise is the obvious stand-out, playing a man so gross in his male chauvinist performance that his decent– spurred in part by a quick-witted reporter– into the small boy he has always been is so satisfying. philip seymour hoffman is the perfect balance for this range of characters. empathetic and sensitive to his patients and the emotional family around him, he is perfect in this role (as always). i want to shake the hand of whoever came up with julianne moore’s fur and v-neck combination. it’s a perfect representation of this character– rich furs as evidence of her marriage to her wealthy husband, worn impractically in the rain, over a casual shirt the color of nurse blues. this line from william h. macy is one of the best pieces of dialogue of the film:

I really have so much love to give. I just don't know where to put it.

i think a variation on this sentiment has been expressed in so many pieces of art. this bit from fleabag comes to mind:

I don't know what to do with it.
With what?
With all the love I have for her. I don't know where to put it now.

what is the conclusion of all this emotion and outburst? forgiveness? of others? of ourselves? i think it's interesting that pta showed the cast network (x) before filming. the first thing that comes to mind when we think of that film is it's shockingly accurate satirization of news media. but there's also the side plot of the affair of faye dunaway's and william holden's characters. they fail to mesh– dunaway being unable to focus on anything but her work, and holden needing something more. it's– in my opinion– one of the weaker elements of the film, minus beatrice straight's realism as holden's forgotten wife. it's interesting that PTA chose this film to screen; a story of a failed relationship based on a failure to communicate each other's needs.

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