I *just* finished watching it.

I really, really liked this movie.  I'm not sure I fully get it with just one viewing, but the main message reads loud and clear.  Do not tell me this is just novelistic.  Do not tell me these things only happen in movies.

I'll probably post more on it later.  I just wanted to say how much I liked it. 🙂

PS  Spoiler (highlight to reveal): I love the frogs!  How awesome is that?

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  1. Sorry for thus far having been completely uninvolved with the group. I've done a poor job of juggling moving/starting grad school with my participation in the VOX world. However, being that I love Magnolia I'd like to get in on this conversation as it happens. I'll try to watch it again over the next week or so to refresh my memory.

  2. No worries, you know there's always no pressure. :)But of course, I'll be glad to hear from you. Do you think the theology coffee house will ever get back up and running?

  3. Oddly, the biblical image implied by your spoilered plot point wasn't even intended when Anderson first wrote the movie. Apparently someone pointed the passage out to him after he started production, and he started inserting references to that Bible verse all over the sets.Even so, it's a fascinating study of, one might say, Providence. The narrator at the beginning and end states that he no longer believes in chance, "This cannot be 'One of those things…' This, please, cannot be that." All of the characters are interconnected in one way or another (the film's Wikipedia page actually has a chart), and almost by sheer coincidence they just happen to fall in together at the right moment to stop something horrible from happening. And of course, the spoiler-which-must-not-be-named is also a "right moment" occurrence, albeit from on high.Everyone gets redemption at the end, though they are all rather pathetic redemptions. It's a comedy, not a tragedy. Aimee Mann's soundtrack makes it certain that we are rummaging through some pretty shady basements, but even she can't keep us from hope (even a pathetic hope). All of these people are too pathetic for this to be a tragedy; Aristotle was right when he said that low and common people are not the proper subjects for tragedy, since we cannot empathize with the thought of people so low being brought even lower.Another tidbit: Tom Cruise's role was written specifically for him when he asked Anderson to be given a role in his next film. He worked almost for free.

  4. Thanks for that. I did notice on the wiki page that the director put all those references to exodus in there. That's pretty funny. I bet in making the film that he couldn't dismiss that as "just chance" and so decided to make it even stronger. :)To me, the spoiler served to emphasize the fact that the rest of the movie is not just one of those things. If you're going to be skeptical about anything, here's the thing to not believe. Of course, according to Stanley, even this is something that happens.It goes surprisingly well with a point made in our first book, the Unbearable Lightness of Being. At one point Kundera tells us not to think that something in his book is too "novelistic" to be true. Not to mention the fact that it deals with the themes of interconnection, chance, and recurring themes and motifs quite well.

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