- Paul Thomas Anderson
- Reviewed by
- José Ruiloba a.k.a. Morris
- Review date
- Wednesday, December 27, 2000
It is a highly emotional one-day ride where we get to meet all this people and see for ourselves that even the most innocent of human beings has its share of problems. There’s the dying man (Jason Robards), his confused wife (Julianne Moore), his wild son (Tom Cruise), his kind nurse (Philip Seymour Hoffman), the TV host (Philip Baker Hall), his drug addict daughter (Melora Walters), the nice policeman (John C. Reilly), the ex genius (William H. Macy) and the boy genius. All of these people share nothing in common, but in a way, the story puts them along the path in different situations that may or may not have a dramatic impact in each and every one of them.
While all of this might just sound boring, the script has so many layers and tones that the whole experience is nothing of the sort. Instead, it is a powerful movie that deals with relationships. Whether it is a father and son relationship, a husband and wife relationship, a life and death experience or whatever it may be, we always get to see a story about forgiveness, about the human need of being loved and love others, about redemption, about dignity, about coincidences.
The director and writer is Paul Thomas Anderson, who has held himself as one of the most promising young talents working in Hollywood nowadays. With this picture, he puts it clear that he is not willing to make any concessions. His direction is highly original and flawless. This can also be seen in the way he directs his actors.
The movie, as itself, is extremely well acted by all the cast. My personal choices for the best performances would have to be Tom Cruise (who is astonishing and heartbreaking in a way we had never seen him before) and Julianne Moore (who irradiates talent and steals every scene she’s in).
The bittersweet score by Aimee Man is fabulous, by the way. And be prepared for a completely unexpected event towards the end that is, literally, of biblical proportions. A remarkable picture which may be brilliant for some, pointless for others. No doubt about it, I’ll stick with the first choice.
“Now that I’ve met you, would you object to never seeing me again?”
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