Dimed Out Blog

Paul Thomas Anderson Week – Magnolia & Punch Drunk Love

In the second part of Paul Thomas Anderson week, we’re taking a look at his third and fourth feature films, Magnolia and Punch Drunk Love.

MAGNOLIA (1999)

One of, if not, THE, film that Paul Thomas Anderson has become known for, Magnolia took the multi character ensemble idea exhibited in Boogie Nights and made it more personal, yet at the same, universal.

Granted, raining frogs might not be an experience we’ve all shared, but the concept of fractured/broken relationships, death and ego are all very common and human issues.

Although the framing of these concepts can be somewhat strange in Magnolia, the intensity and honesty which PTA attacks these concepts with, make for quite the experience.

On a side note, that Aimee Mann soundtrack still holds up really well.

I know many put Magnolia at the very top of their Paul Thomas Anderson list, but what about you? Does it even crack the top 5?

Also, which character arc do you like the most. Me? Well, I’m partial to quiz kid Donnie Smith myself.

PUNCH DRUNK LOVE (2002)

Part odd couple romance, part off-kilter comedy, part unconventional superhero origin. Punch Drunk Love is a lot of things and it’s possibly Paul Thomas Anderson’s most divisive film.

I’ve known people who love it and I’ve known others who have flatly dismissed it.

On paper, a PTA film starring Adam Sandler and Emily Watson shouldn’t work, at all…but it does.

Completely different from his other features in so many ways, it’s not just a refreshing change of tact, it’s a great example of Andersons versatility.

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