Video Picks Archive

July 26, 2000
This Week's Video Picks
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Reviews by Matt Heffernan <>

This week my picks are Magnolia (1999 - ) and Nashville (1975 - ).

My first pick this week is the latest film from Paul Thomas Anderson, who last found success in the provocative and engrossing Boogie Nights. Magnolia stars several top actors, including Tom Cruise and Jason Robards, not to mention Anderson veterans like Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, and Julianne Moore. The lives of these characters intertwine with strange coincidences around Southern California and a game show for child geniuses. This three-hour opus combines sharp characterizations, vivid filmmaking, and the utterly bizarre. Certainly not for all tastes, but considered by many critics to be one of the best films from last year, even finding a place on my top ten list.
Full review from December 20, 1999

Films like Magnolia owe their entire existence to the second film: Robert Altman's revolutionary Nashville. This is the benchmark for all ensemble films, following many characters as they try to find their way through the music business. Not only did Altman get his cast (including Ned Beatty, Karen Black, Ronee Blakely, Keith Carradine, Shelley Duvall, Henry Gibson, Jeff Goldblum, Lily Tomlin, and many others) to work for next to nothing, he got them to help write the original songs used in the film, as well as fleshing out the dialogue. The end product is simply amazing, and stands as one of the greatest achievements in American filmmaking. Nashville won a single Oscar -- for the song "I'm Easy", written by Carradine -- and was nominated for four others, but the year belonged to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, which won all the major awards.

For more information, visit the Internet Movie Database:
Magnolia (1999)
Nashville (1975)

Here's some merchandise for sale at
Magnolia (1999) -- VHS
Magnolia (1999) -- DVD
Magnolia: The Illustrated Screenplay, by Paul Thomas Anderson -- Hardcover
Magnolia: The Illustrated Screenplay, by Paul Thomas Anderson -- Paperback
Magnolia: Soundtrack -- Compact Disc
Nashville (1975) -- VHS
Nashville (1975) -- DVD
Nashville: The Original Motion Picture Soundtrack -- Compact Disc Home
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