"...And it is in the humble opinion of this narrator that this is not just, 'something that happened.' This cannot be, 'one of those things.' This, please, cannot be that. And for what I would like to say, I can't. This was not just a matter of chance. These strange things happen all the time."
- Opening narration by actor Ricky Jay, after the strange death of Sydney Barringer
"In this life, it's not what you hope for, it's not what you deserve--it's what you take."
- Frank T.J. Mackey (Tom Cruise)
"You wanna kiss me, Jim'"--Claudia Wilson Gator (Melora Walters) "Yes, I do."
- Jim Kurring (John C. Reilly)
"Now that I've met you, would you object to never seeing me again'"
- Claudia to Jim
"I know this sounds silly, and I know that I might sound ridiculous, like this is the scene in the movie where the guy's trying to get a hold of the long-lost son, you know, but this is that scene. This is that scene, and I think they have those scenes in movies because they're true, you know, because they really happen. And you've got to believe me, this is really happening."
- Phil Parma (Philip Seymour Hoffman) on the phone looking for Frank
"As the book says, we may be through with the past, but the past ain't though with us."
- Ending narration by Ricky Jay (echoed throughtout the film)
"...A major work highly in tune with the zeitgeist..."
Rolling Stone - 01/20/2000 Ranked #5 in Rolling Stone's "Ten Best Movies of 1999" -- "...[An] emotional powerhouse..."
Entertainment Weekly - 01/21/2000
"...A showy flower of a movie....The big emotions bring out the best in a stellar cast..." -- Rating: B+
Premiere - 09/01/2000
"...Jaw-dropping audacity....MAGNOLIA's a source of astonishment..." -- 4 out of 5 stars
Box Office - 02/01/2000
"...All performances are flawless....Artful...[With a] heartbreakingly dead-on insight into the human condition..." -- 4 out of 5 stars
Los Angeles Times - 12/17/1999
"...It's an impressive piece of work with some fine acting..."
Chicago Sun-Times - 01/07/2000
"...MAGNOLIA is operatic in its ambition, a great, joyous leap into melodrama and coincidence....As its themes unfold, its characters strive against the dying of the light, and the great wheel of chance rolls on toward them..."
Total Film - 07/01/2006
"Cruise isn't just self-mocking: his Mackey is fully realised."
Wall Street Journal - 04/18/2013
"Tom Cruise gives a fearless, absolutely flawless performance as Frank Mackey..."
In a single day in Los Angeles, a number of interconnected lives are changed forever. A lonely police officer (John C. Reilly) falls in love with a disturbed cocaine addict (Melora Walters). Her father (Philip Baker Hall), the host of the game show "What Do Kids Know'" has terminal cancer and tries to make amends for his past mistakes. A former champion of the show (William H. Macy) struggles to find love while the current champion (Jeremy Blackman) suffocates under the pressures of being a boy genius. An elderly man (Jason Robards) lies on his deathbed, tended by nurse Phil Parma (Philip Seymour Hoffman), while his trophy wife (Julianne Moore) wrestles with grief and guilt, and his estranged son (Tom Cruise), an infomercial host, teaches workshops on how to trick women into having sex. Throughout all of this, past deeds are lamented and strange forces loom in the air.
Director Paul Thomas Anderson's follow-up to BOOGIE NIGHTS is an extravagant, emotional epic inspired by such films as Robert Altman's NASHVILLE and SHORT CUTS, with a sprawling cast of characters searching for love and meaning in a chaotic world. The cast delivers uniformly excellent performances, most notably Tom Cruise's Oscar-nominated role as the sleazy Frank T.J. Mackey.
Director Paul Thomas Anderson's sprawling epic concerning a day in the life of many San Fernando Valley residents is an ambitious, highly emotional effort.
Essential Cinema |
Los Angeles, California |
Theatrical release: December 17, 1999.
Filmed on location in the San Fernando Valley, California.
The Bible verse referred to in the film, Exodus 8:2, says, "And if thou refuse to let them go, behold, I will smite all thy borders with frogs." There are dozens of references to this verse scattered throughout the film.
Tom Cruise said he would like to work with Paul Thomas Anderson after seeing BOOGIE NIGHTS. Anderson wrote the role of Frank T.J. Mackey specifically for Cruise.
The phone number for ordering the "Seduce and Destroy" package actually led to a recording of Cruise in character selling his products.
Actor Jason Robards had just recovered from a very serious illness before appearing in MAGNOLIA. The film featured his last screen role; he passed away a year after its release.
The film's title refers to a major street in the San Fernando Valley, where the story takes place. There are also pictures of magnolia flowers scattered throughout the film. In addition, "magnolia" is a name coined by author Charles Fort for a theoretical place where frogs and other unusual things might fall out of the sky.
One of the books Stanley Spector is reading in the school library is LEARNED PIGS AND FIREPROOF WOMEN by Ricky Jay, who appears in the film.
A major scene involving the characters of Stanley Spector, Dixon, and the mysterious Worm was cut out of the film for various reasons. In the original screenplay, the three meet in a diner at the end of the film and it is revealed that the Worm had killed the man discovered by Officer Jim Kurring in Marcie's apartment. Marcie takes the blame for the murder, covering up for the Worm, her son.