Magnolia
1999
*****
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Cast: Jason Robards, Julianne Moore, Philip Baker Hall, Tom Cruise, Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, John C. Reilly,
Melora Walters, Jeremy Blackman

Paul Thomas Anderson’s amazing tapestry of intertwining lives centres around two patriarchs who are both dying of cancer. The other people in the story are not dying, but they aren’t doing much better. This long and extremely powerful (but admittedly depressing) drama is reminiscent of Robert Altman’s Short Cuts, only better. Tom Cruise is a revelation as a misogynistic motivational speaker but the performances are excellent throughout. The soundtrack by Aimee Mann is ingeniously incorporated into the narrative.