Skip to content

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

United States 1999 188 mins.

Anderson’s third feature takes the theme of chance and applies it to the stories of a cadre of Angelinos on the brink, where chance meetings both threaten to disrupt a fragile order and offer a shot at redemption springing from unexpected sources. Two classic, titanic father-figures structure the film’s expansive focus: dying movie mogul Earl Partridge (Jason Robards) and falling-from-grace quiz show host Jimmy Gator (Philip Baker Hall), from whose turbulent lives flower intertwining threads: estranged children, disillusioned spouses, and the aftermath of fame, both real-time and in reflection. However, with such colossal downfall comes unexpected, life-saving absolution. Magnolia, a huge critical success upon release, significantly widens the scope and complexity of Anderson’s interrogation of the American family in spectacular fashion.

The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.