One of those films that I loved and then loved less and less upon subsequent viewings to the point that I have stopped re-watching it. I think it boils down to the fact that making it aggressively obvious that you know your deus ex machina is a deus ex machina does not make the device any more satisfying. So, a patchy script performed by some of the finest actors of their respective generations. Plus cinematography.
I'm going to get killed for this, but MAGNOLIA is clearly the work of a young, overly-ambitious genius who lacked the light touches to counterbalance his histrionic flourishes (THE MASTER) or the operatic context to justify his overwhelming vision (THERE WILL BE BLOOD). MAGNOLIA is a staggering work of art, but its utter lack of emotional range fails it, where LITERALLY every scene is cranked to an emotional 10.