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Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Boogie Nights (1997)

In 1977 in Southern California's San Fernando Valley, a high school drop out (Mark Wahlberg) finds himself swept up in the burgeoning porn industry where he becomes a big star. But the excesses of the 1980s party scene, casual sex and easily available drugs can only lead to a big fall. Written and directed by Paul Thomas Anderson, this is a sensational film! It runs over 2 1/2 hours but unlike most films of that length, you never notice the running time it's that engrossing. A superb ensemble cast combined with a compelling screenplay and an irresistible song soundtrack, BOOGIE NIGHTS splendidly recreates the late 1970s in all its gaudy polyester self indulgence. A lot of the credit goes to Bob Ziembicki's production design, Ted Berner's art direction and Mark Bridges' costume design. Anderson doesn't hammer us over the head with moral judgments but rather let's us empathize with its fallen protagonists, people we wouldn't give the time of day in real life. That's the sign of a true artist. The impeccable cast includes Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, Heather Graham, Alfred Molina, Don Cheadle, Philip Baker Hall, Robert Ridgely, Thomas Jane, Joanna Gleason and Nicole Ari Parker.  

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