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Paul Thomas Anderson United States, 1996

Ashley Spendlove's rating of the film Hard Eight

Loses some of its power as the plot becomes more explicit in the second half but along the way there are so many riches here, not least PTA's extended takes, the tracking shots and a sound world which punctuates extended periods of quiet with shattering violence, itself a comment on the main character Sydney (a brilliantly centred performance by Hall). Reilly is also excellent.