Another great imitation of a great movie from writer-director Paul Thomas Anderson (Boogie Nights). Echoing the sprawling bravura of Robert Altman’s Nashville and Short Cuts, Magnolia follows one melodramatic day in the life of numerous Californians living in the San Fernando Valley. Anderson’s highly emotional story line, hinging on estranged fathers and sons, the threat of cancer and the power of coincidence, sinks some
talented actors (William H. Macy, Julianne Moore) and lets others shine (John C. Reilly, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Tom Cruise).
Fair warning: the mustaches are not ironic