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Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

United States 2002 95 mins.

With two sprawling, epic works preceding it, with this film Anderson sought to make a “Friday night film,” a short, compact entertainment in the classical mode—as much as possible with Anderson, anyway. Reinvigorating Adam Sandler’s career as Barry Egan, a neurotic plunger salesman with seven sisters and a newfound harmonium, this unassuming, highly unconventional film finds its nucleus with a fledgling relationship between Barry and Lena Leonard (Emily Watson). However, when Barry calls a phone sex line, he’s dragged into a tangled web of fraud and threats of violence from a ring led by a sleazy Philip Seymour Hoffman. This brings Lena into danger, and Barry must act to preserve not only her safety but also, ultimately, the one meaningful relationship he’s ever forged. “What Mr. Anderson wants to do is recapture, without nostalgia, the giddiness and sweep of old movies, and his mastery of the emotional machinery of the medium is breathtaking.”—A.O. Scott, The New York Times.



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.