Paul Thomas Anderson, is one of few directors nowadays that can masterfully construct excellent, intriguing and hilarious dialogue between brilliantly created characters.
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
Stars: Mark Wahlberg, Julianne Moore, Burt Reynolds, John C. Reilly
Screenplay: Paul Thomas Anderson
Editor: Robert Elswit
Cinematographer: Robert Elswit
Producer: Paul Thomas Anderson, Michael De Luca, Lawrence Gorodn
Boogie Nights follows the life of a young teenager named Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg) who works as a waiter in a night club called "Boogie Nights", which happens to be a regular spot for some big time porn movie stars and directors, who then happen to take an interest in Eddie Adams. With this new opportunity in Eddie's life, he decides to pursue it with hope of finding stardom in the porn industry, as well as finding his place in the world after having been subject to some mental abuse from his mother.
Paul Thomas Anderson is said to be very close friends with director and writer Quentin Tarantino, with Tarantino openly stating that Boogie Nights is his favourite Paul Thomas Anderson picture. The two directors are masters of screen writing and character development, and so by watching and analysing pictures directed by the both of them you can see how they both influence each other.
Boogie Nights, alongside PTA'S previous pictures, is not a very cinematic one, which leads it to rely on its script writing...which is done brilliantly. The script of a movie like this has to be excellent, to create a balance between all the raunchy scenes, otherwise critics would see this as a movie as a means to show off the body talent of the actors and actresses. Almost every line of the movie you learn something new, something different about every character you come across. In each character you find understanding and you make a connection with characters you never thought possible. I personally loved every character that was introduced, each one was created with such precision and some which are down right hilarious, and that is all down to great writing. Julianne Moore's character I wish however, was developed further as I think it could have given the movie a more emotional edge and gave us a break from all the comical moments throughout the film.
The acting in the movie is terrific. Mark Walhberg portrays a teenager striving for success in the best way possible, giving us great iconic scenes and speeches of how he's adamant he'll achieve stardom. Julianne Moore is great as always, her character plays a maternal figure between the group of young actors striving to make it in the industry. She gives them that mother comfort that they need when their reality catches up with them, and Julianne Moore sells it. Burt Reynolds plays the director of these adult films, ultimately the boss of the filmmaking process. Reynolds delivers this portrayal of a cheesy American money grabber, although who does ultimately care about the people he works with. These performances are but a few of so many great ones, all subject to great screenplay, which give us an example of how screenplay should be written.
Music wise, it does the movie justice in establishing its time period. Throughout the movie, classics from the 70's are being played continuously through the movie. This may be one of the best soundtracks out there. The costumes alongside the music are great, the iconic flared jeans and the big over-exaggerated collars just go excellently when establishing the time period.
Paul Thomas Anderson adds another gem in his treasure chest. With great acting, dialogue, character development and nostalgia he generates a cult icon of a movie. Alongside his other pictures this one stands out as his best in my opinion, with There Will Be Blood (2007) just behind it. I hope after Inherent Vice (2014) there will be plenty more masterpieces to come.