Anderson's second feature - a dazzling, highly confident, atmospherically original and refreshingly non-prurient take on the LA porn movie community - may not be a '90s Citizen Kane, as some claim, but in terms of sweep, ambition and precocious cinematic competence, it heralds the arrival of a new talent. Charting the rise and fall of well-endowed teenage ingénu Dirk Diggler (Wahlberg), from dishwasher to subcultural skinflick superstar, and back to washed-out junkie, the film is less a cautionary tale than a freewheeling, talent-showcasing homage to the glitter, tack and kitsch excesses of the drug-fuelled late '70s and the hangover '80s. The sense of homage/pastiche goes further still: if the rambling ensemble construction derives from Nashville, the swooping long takes and whiplash pans come courtesy of Scorsese. But it's the music that calls the tune with the energetic soul and disco records of the period dictating the editing, pacing and the slightly sleazy, morally neutral tone. This is style condescending magnificently to content, but what stiffens this unashamedly exhibitionist movie's muscles are the 'family' of beautifully judged performances, from Reynolds' stand-out as porn-king auteur/father figure, to Moore's superb cokehead survivor-star and Macy's humiliated cuckold, right down to Hoffman's gut-wrenching gay crew member.
Cast and crew
|Director:||Paul Thomas Anderson|
|Screenwriter:||Paul Thomas Anderson|
|Cast:||Philip Baker Hall
William H Macy
Nicole Ari Parker