[Last Film I Saw] Boogie Nights (1997)

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Title: Boogie Nights
Year: 1997
Language: English
Country: USA
Genre: Drama
Director/Writer: Paul Thomas Anderson
Music: Michael Penn
Cinematography: Robert Elswit
Cast:
Mark Wahlberg
Burt Reynolds
Julianne Moore
Heather Graham
John C. Reilly
Don Cheadle
William H. Macy
Philip Seymour Hoffman
Robert Ridgely
Thomas Jane
Nicole Ari Parker
Luis Guzmán
Laurel Holloman
Ricky Jay
Melora Walters
Alfred Molina
Joanna Gleason
Philip Baker Hall
Robert Downey Sr.
Channon Roe
Jack Wallace
John Doe
Rating: 8.2/10

I first watched this film 10 years ago in the college, and this film literally had brought Paul Thomas Anderson into the stardom as the young peer group of American auteurs, 4 films in 14 years, (BOOGIE NIGHTS, MAGNOLIA 1999, PUNCH-DRUNK LOVE 2002 and THERE WILL BE BLOOD 2007, and his upcoming project THE MASTER is now due in 2013), which comes across as he also acquire the scarce pace of a true auteur in this fast-food generation.

BOOGIE NIGHTS is Anderson’s self-scripted chronicle narrative of a young porn star Dirk Diggler’s up-and-down in 1970s and 1980s and concurrently it depicts a vivid milieu of the entire pornographic ventures. The multi-linear structure is a great bliss of his genius, of course the apex would arrive belatedly in MAGNOLIA. Also well-received is Anderson’s laborious long-shots (notably the beginning shot and the swimming pool party shot) do wonders to meet and eyes and synopsize various characters into a neat yet comprehensive introduction.

A stellar cast which generated two Oscar nomination for then-veteran Reynolds and now-veteran Moore, which out of my preference, Moore should have won her golden man for her first nomination (over Kim Basinger) and Reynolds’ nomination is more like a career recognition for his 35-years-long devotion in the show business. And Mark Wahlberg’s nominal main character is sidelined but still it’s his best work so far. Don Cheadle, Heather Graham (the unforgettable roller-girl) and William H. Macy (a short but dynamic presence also for Thomas Jane and Alfred Molina) are also among the stand-outs in the film.

The film holds firmly within its epic length, 155 minutes, until the curtain call arrives in a final showdown, which is phony, but the amazing integrity of the pace and the quirky but fun-studded sway of the film assure me that Paul Thomas Anderson might go much further than Quentin Tarantino in his brighter pathway as a screenwriter and director.

Oscar 1997 - Boogie Nights

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