Although writer/director Paul Thomas Anderson fails to attract audiences to match peers such as Quentin Tarantino and Christopher Nolan, his filmography is highly respected by the majority of critics and relentlessly analyzed by moviegoers. Many of his works have been increasingly acclaimed in the years since their release date.
Chief among them is there will be bloodwhich didn’t receive the Best Picture Oscar, and was later named the greatest movie of the 21st century (via The New York Times). This sets him apart as a timeless artist in a medium that often rewards the disposable. Moviegoers on Reddit have identified important aspects of Anderson’s work that justify the director‘s golden reputation.
The cohesion of his writing
A certifiable author, Anderson directs his original screenplays rather than serving as a director for hire. His inventiveness as a writer sets him apart from filmmakers who rely too heavily on the visual to communicate their respective messages, and it is evident from his respect for this aspect of the process that he sees film as a medium parallel to literature.
oamh42 emphasizes the distinctiveness of Anderson’s writing style, saying, “His scripts have an incredibly rambling quality that I’m not sure he’d be able to pull off if he didn’t. wasn’t directing, but the character work, the brilliant dialogue, and the story are all there.”
The rewatch value of his films
The most effective films offer significant artistic substance rather than simply dispensing information, allowing audiences to enjoy these works repeatedly despite knowing the outcome of a given plot. Anderson excels in this practice, as evidenced by the continued relevance of his 1990s productions such as boogie nights and Magnolia.
AlexBarron suggests that such viewing value is due to the freedom the director gives his actors during their performances, saying it “makes his films wonderful to watch again, because they’re always kind of a puzzle to untangle”.
The amount of subjects included in a single film
Anderson is acclaimed, in part, for his willingness to tackle multiple vast and esoteric subjects in a single work. there will be blood (which is one of Paul Dano’s best films as well as being one of Anderson’s best) provides insight into many social and emotional topics in addition to its obvious critique of unfettered capitalism, a feat that all short-brilliant filmmaker would be unable to execute.
gregm91606 thinks the writer/director employed an equally broad scope with boogie nightswriting that the film “is actually incredibly effective given the ground it chooses to cover – the transition of an entire industry, and the destruction and reunion of a ‘family’.”
You could say that the elite entertainer can only maintain his superior performance by drastically adjusting his style at the height of his career. Many have identified such a shift in Anderson’s cinema, noting a greater focus on verbal description in his earlier work and a greater embrace of subtlety in his more recent films.
geterklyed regards both styles as exceptional, saying, “Even though we split his career into two halves – the first where he was a talkie writer, the second where he’s a filmmaker less is more – they’re both fantastic.”
His penchant for the unexpected
While many filmmakers maintain their careers by adhering to a particular style or continuing to struggle with a specific list of themes, Anderson is known for releasing production that diverges dramatically from his previous work. Magnoliaan anthology piece with intimidating and sometimes biblical accents, and the light and relatively wholesome Licorice Pizza are distinct enough from each other that casual viewers unfamiliar with Anderson’s name probably wouldn’t expect the two films to have been written and directed by the same artist.
snarkyturtle greatly appreciates this tendency to blaze new and unexpected trails, saying Anderson “definitely has a knack for subverting audience expectations (sic). As ghost yarn rode the hype of there will be blood but PTA wanted to take Daniel Day Lewis and portray him as a classy English dude versus a serious, conniving businessman, just because the public expected the Daniel Playview (sic)/Bill The Butcher type of character.
His stunning visuals
Along with the crisp dialogue that anchors each of his films, Anderson goes to great lengths to polish the visuals for every shot included in the final cut of any given work. This dedication is particularly evident in The mastera period piece set in the aftermath of World War II that features clothing, technology and architecture specific to the 1950s.
acharismaticjeweller was among dozens of viewers praising the striking beauty of this film, writing that “there is something so visually striking about this film. Some of the visuals and character profile pictures stuck in my brain.
Her complex portrayal of romance
Much of the art covers the nuances of romantic love due to the near universality of the experience, but these works often depict polished, two-dimensional relationships that bear little resemblance to those seen in the mainstream. Anderson challenges this tradition of failure by writing complex and surprisingly flawed partnerships, especially in films love stuffed with punch and ghost yarn.
A Redditor who has since deleted her account took note of the desire for control evident in this latest film’s main relationship (involving one of Paul Thomas Anderson’s best female characters), writing, “In Alma, Reynolds met his match. , and she is attracted to him because she is so. And finally, she wins – he surrenders to her. She has control at the end of the story.
The obvious influence of other respected filmmakers
Anderson, like any good filmmaker, follows cinema obsessively, easily drawing inspiration from many screenwriters and directors who came before him (one can better grasp the impact of these artists by watching the films that influenced Paul Thomas Anderson) . iconic films in the medium’s history were released during his upbringing in the 1970s and 1980s, a plausible motivation for his decision to pursue a career in Hollywood.
A Redditor who has since deleted his account identified Robert Altman as a notable influence on Anderson whose techniques and themes can be identified in the latter’s work, saying that the love stuffed with punch the director is “a big fan of Robert Altman…Altman has said many times that his movies don’t have an end because life doesn’t work that way.” Likewise, Anderson avoids orderly conclusions in his projects.
His interest in the effect of the past on the present
Some students of Anderson’s production have noticed that the writer/director often references the impending power of an individual’s past in his works. Protagonists of Paul Thomas Anderson who suffer from the pain associated with this retrospection include Dirk Diggler of boogie nights (who is haunted by his strained teenage relationship with his mother) and Freddie Quell, one of the two main characters in The master (who seems to remain deeply affected by his service in World War II).
lilbunited also observed this theme in Anderson’s first film, hard eightnoting that “the past is the film’s main crux, the reason why our protagonist Sydney does what he does in the first half of it, the thing he tries hardest to escape from”.
His focus on interpersonal relationships
Anderson seems preoccupied with the importance of social connections, as evidenced by the major non-romantic relationships featured in films such as boogie nights, there will be bloodand The master.
Her work suggests that such connections are often tumultuous and not guaranteed to be permanent, but are generally preferable to the psychic pain of isolation regardless. jzakko insightfully expanded on this observation noting that “his films relate to loneliness as a human condition and to relationships as the only salvation”.
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