PHIL/GEEK/PHIL


82% Chance of rain
June 20, 2008, 10:26 am
Filed under: Movies | Tags: , , , ,

9 years ago, I was shopping at a virgin megastore and I did my yearly routine of randomly selecting one dvd and one cd from a bin and buying them. That year, I picked the Fiona Apple CD (now one of my favorite artists) and the magnolia dvd (arguably my favorite film ever). I guess, as magnolia points out fabulously :  “This cannot be a matter of chance : strange things happen all the time”.

Note : how I managed to pick  up these two and adore them is already quite coincidental. But what do you say about the fact that Fiona Apple and Paul Thomas Anderson (the director) were dating at that time. Freaky !!!

What a masterpiece of cinema that film. First of all, the script is smart, witty and so layered it would make your head spin. And I’m not talking about the obvious layering of the parallel stories. It goes way beyond this and avoids the stupid “lives colliding” cliché by making the stories connected on deeper levels than crossing each other on the street. The pace is a monster of a success and goes from intense, high-paced segments to moving monologues without ever failing to generate some strong, genuine emotion in you.

The acting is top notch, from everyone involved. I’d have to give a special nod to Tom Cruise whose performance in this is so good it almost makes you forget about all the stupidity surrounding that guy. Also notable are, well, everyone else in this film !

The cinematography  is consistently georgous, the camera work is complex and grandiose. The camera follows the feelings and reaches down in your gut like a sharp knife. It plays a big part in why this film is so good and if the treatment was any different, the film would fail.

And lastly, the songs ! Ahhh, the songs ! Aimee Mann has long been one of my favorite songwriters because she just nails the human condition so well. She just knows how to describe the lives of people who are in constant sorrow but have peaks of ephemerous happiness that make life so perfectly liveable. The fact that magnolia is written based on her songs (and not the other way around) is a testimony to a wonderful artist. Oh, and did I mention the fabulous score by Jon Brion ?

All around, the film is perfectly crafted but doesn’t lack its faults. But who care about faults when the whole is so enjoyable.

I’m going to go ahead and say it :  Paul Thomas Anderson is the best director on the contemporary scene. Don’t agree with me ? write your own blog! 🙂

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