Boogie Nights Screen 5 articles

Boogie Nights

1997

Boogie Nights Poster
  • Anderson’s Scorsese-cribbed style is so pronounced that it’s easy to miss how tender the film is toward its protagonist... Wahlberg’s dim, beseeching naïf act might seem overplayed in retrospect, but when I first saw the film, it provided a hopeful source of identification amidst a world that was triply alien—not only was it set among adults, it was couched in the past and was bursting with breezily procured sex.

  • [Anderson's] formal borrowings [from Altman and Scorsese] should not detract from Anderson’s film and Boogie Nights provides an ideal template for anyone interested in his subsequent films.

  • Just as his first feature, Hard Eight, at times slavishly depended on Jean-Pierre Melville's Bob le flambeur, Anderson here attempts to "outdo" Tarantino (in a fabulous late sequence with Alfred Molina) and to plagiarize a sequence from Raging Bull that itself quotes from On the Waterfront, rather than come up with something original. But notwithstanding its occasional grotesque nods to postmodernist convention, this is highly entertaining Hollywood filmmaking, full of spark and vigor.

  • Anderson’s second full-length picture is a late-1970s dysfunctional-family portrait full of exacerbated lust, blowjobs, and cocaine-fueled confessions. It’s a sprawling, tumultuous fireball of a film that instead of putting the porn industry on a pedestal, shows the nitty-gritty of sex as a career through its humdrum sets and inner turmoil amongst the cast and crew.

  • Made with enough style to fill an entire textbook on film technique, the movie might have been suffocated by its own panache if it didn’t have the dramatic range to back up the technical razzle-dazzle: It’s uproariously funny, disturbingly sad, utterly engrossing, and boasts what might be the greatest supporting cast of the 1990s.

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