Boogie Nights is the movie that should have won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Unfortunately, the award went to Titanic.
Directors: Paul Thomas Anderson
Producers: Paul Thomas Anderson, Lloyd Levin, John Lyons, JoAnne Sellar
Writers: Paul Thomas Anderson
Features: Anamorphic Widescreen Format, Interactive Menus, Director's Commentary, Deleted Scenes, Cast and Crew Biography, also a Music Video directed by Paul Thomas Anderson.
Dirk Diggler/Eddie Adams - Mark Wahlberg
Jack Horner - Burt Reynolds
Amber Waves - Julianne Moore
Rollergirl - Heather Graham
Boogie Nights is the movie that should have won the Academy Award for Best Picture. Unfortunately, the award went to Titanic. Boogie Nights is Paul Thomas Anderson's second film (the first being Hard Eight), and there are very few things wrong with it. Lots of people go into it thinking its just supposed to be about wacky haircuts and pornography, not expecting the story of a fairly crucial transition period in the lives of a small group of people. The people are of course the porn stars and the transition is, in a nut-shell, the 1980's.
Anyone who has seen the movie (and has half a brain) will agree that the major turning point is the 1980 New Years Eve party. It's such an essential sequence that I've written an entire paper on it. Jack Horner (the father figure who is dedicated to producing his porn on film) meets with Floyd Gondolli (an video-tape evangelist). Dirk Diggler, Buck Swopes, Reed Rothchild.. why even bother listing them all. The sweep of change is found in every single scene and character at the New Years Eve party.
The first half of the movie is joyous. Everyone is happy, everyone is enjoying their job (new job in the case of Dirk Diggler/Eddie Adams), Anderson gives us scenes at parties, on the set, etc. This tends to be the half everyone loves. I love the second half. It is a long brutal path of hurt, pain, and self destruction. Without the second half, Boogie Nights is not a story -- it's a gimmick.
There's so much to say about the quality of this movie that I find myself not really able to say anything. I'd feel guilty to point out one great thing without pointing out all the rest. But here's my best attempt, in list form:
1) Amazingly long opening shot
2) Insane showdown at Rahad Jackon's house
3) Clever mirror of Scorsese's Raging Bull in the final scene.
The DVD release does have an excellent director's commentary audio track, as well as several really cool scenes that were cut from the movie. Hearing all of the pornographic scenes in different languages was also mildly amusing.