In your opinion which of Paul Thomas Andersons films is his best and why. And also do you like PTA?
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Brad is right.
But since you asked, Magnolia is the correct answer.
I like PTA, but I don’t think his films are as successful as other people. I think I like Hard Eight the best.
I thought Magnolia was a little too sprawling.
Magnolia is my favorite, and it’s his too! “I have a feeling, one of those gut feelings, that I’ll make pretty good movies the rest of my life. And maybe I’ll make some clunkers, maybe I’ll make some winners, but I guess the way that I really feel is that Magnolia is, for better or worse, the best movie I’ll ever make.” – Paul Thomas Anderson (http://www.theyshootpictures.com/andersonpaulthomas.htm)
Not that it being his favorite makes it mine, just found it interesting. Anyway, Magnolia for me represents an artist pouring everything they can onto the screen, all their personal thoughts and feelings at that point in time and for some people I can definitely see that being off-putting. But that sort of ambition and passion is what I love.
I think There Will Be Blood is the safest answer to many, though.
I just think Magnolia hits it on all levels. Yes, it’s sprawling but it’s effective in it’s sprawl. Magnolia and There Will Be Blood both seem like “big” movies but they’re polar opposites in terms of character scale. It’s like he took all the energy from the characters in Magnolia and focused it into one character in There Will Be Blood. But I like Magnolia – there are some weaker character stories (I never cared much for the John C. Reilly/Melinda Walters scenes) but overall it’s a really engaging film.
Agreed, it’s the only montage/interconnecting vignette film where each of the characters and their respective stories are engaging to me, for all three hours. That in itself is quite a feat.
There Will Be Blood.
Followed by Punch-Drunk Love, both films are very strong, I can easily name them masterpieces.
“Anyway, Magnolia for me represents an artist pouring everything they can onto the screen, all their personal thoughts and feelings at that point in time and for some people I can definitely see that being off-putting.”
Nah, that’s not what I found off-putting about it. It was the extreme length and the repetitious quality of the film, I just got sick of scene after scene of Julianne Moore choking back the tears, and the the expertly intercut five-way scene after expertly intercut five-way scene after expertly intercut five-way scene, on and on and on until he finally tossed a rain of frogs onscreen for a big finish. Silly movie, overall.
I’m in the THERE WILL BE BLOOD camp.
Well I can see that being off-putting too! Personally, I got into that rhythm and enjoyed it. To dismiss the entire effort as a “silly movie” though is overly dismissive imo.
What, specifically, did you like about There WIll Be Blood?
I liked the relative focus of THERE WILL BE BLOOD, as opposed to the Faux Altman sprawl of the vile BOOGIE NIGHTS and the silly MAGNOLIA. The film seemed to have a point beyond just having dumped everything Anderson could onto the screen, the spectacle of Mr. Plainview purging himself of all humanity in his quest for whatever he was in quest of — oil, money, success.
Fair enough! What about Punch-Drunk Love? Vile? Silly? Or tolerable? haha.
Haven’t bothered with PDL, zero interest.
I’d say Boogie Nights actually
I enjoy and admire all of PTA’s films, but masterpiece is a pretty high bar I don’t think he’s ever reached. Magnolia comes the closest.
I think that and Magnolia are way better than Altman’s Short Cuts, and the construction of this type of film wasnt invented by Altman I think. Anyway, that’s not what make those pta movies so good.
I’ve always felt the PTA was best when they were actually working for the kids, I think if there is a masterpiece by any PTA it is providing healthy, nutritional lunches for the kids of America.
“I think that and Magnolia are way better than Altman’s Short Cuts, and the construction of this type of film wasnt invented by Altman I think.”
Who invented it then? Even if Altman didn’t invent it, he perfected it and took it to the next level with Nashville in the 70’s.
Short Cuts is nowhere near as good as Nasvhille to me.
and PTA hasn’t come close to making a masterpiece in my view.
I’m unaware of an ensemble of that scale existing before Nashville. Perhaps It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World, but that seems to be a different animal.
Both Short Cuts and Magnolia owe more than a little to Nashvile, and in this case, I think PTA came out ahead of later day Altman.
Joks said, Who invented it then? Even if Altman didn’t invent it, he perfected it and took it to the next level with Nashville in the 70’s
Yeah. In fact, I think Altman’s approach is so different—in terms of quality or just in terms of unique take—that I almost don’t want to compare Altman to other filmmakers who have employed a "braided’ character/narrative approach.
PTA’s master piece? Clearly it’s going to be The Master.
I just read the other day it’s being shot in 65MM. So ditto what Nathan said.
I don’t think he’s made a movie that can be considered a masterpiece. I do think that he is one of the better American directors working today, but I don’t think he’s made a movie that is completely coherent. All of this movies have interesting ideas but these ideas often get lost in the sprawl that characterizes several of his movies. Boogie Nights’ meanderings about family values get bogged down by the exploration of Hollywood vacuity and moral degradation. There Will Be Blood’s conception of an overly ambitious man is interesting to a point, but Anderson’s clumsy attempts to complicate Plainview’s character (is he a family man or isn’t he?) end up being ambiguous and limited. Magnolia is hugely entertaining but also preposterously pretentious and its scope almost completely inhibits any compelling ideas from developing effectively. All of his ramblings about fate and destiny in that movie also seem very half baked.
He certainly has the talent to make a great movie but he hasn’t accomplished it yet I don’t think.