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Friday August 17th 2018

Magnolia | 2000

Magnolia location: Foxfire Room, Magnolia Boulevard, Valley Village, San Fernando Valley
Magnolia location: Quiz Kid Donnie comes clean at the bar: Foxfire Room, Magnolia Boulevard, Valley Village, San Fernando Valley

Like Boogie Nights, the director’s previous film, Magnolia is set in the director’s own neighbourhood, the San Fernando Valley, of Burbank, North Hollywood and Van Nuys, north of Los Angeles.

‘Magnoliafan’ is the ultimate put-down for Kevin Smith afficionados, but Valley boy Paul Thomas Anderson’s daring, multi-centred drama barrels through its three-hour running time with blistering energy, carrying a clutch of career-best performances on board.

There's a brief detour to Reno, Nevada, for the opening casino scene, and to Big Bear Lake, California, for the story of the diver found in a tree.

Magnolia location: Reseda Boulevard, Reseda, San Fernando Valley
Magnolia location: the bungled robbery: Reseda Boulevard, Reseda, San Fernando Valley

The film is named for Magnolia Boulevard, one of the Valley’s main east-west thoroughfares, on which you’ll find the bar in which one-time Quiz Kid Donnie (William H Macy) declares his love for Brad the Barman. The Foxfire Room, 12516 Magnolia Boulevard at Whitsett Avenue is in Valley Village, north of Studio City.

Good-natured cop Jim Kurring (John C Reilly) is caught by the unexpected frog deluge as he drives along Reseda Boulevard. The ‘Solomon & Solomon’ store, where he spots Donnie trying to climb a telegraph pole after the clumsy robbery, is LA Popular Alliances, 7222 Reseda Boulevard at Sherman Way in Reseda.

Magnolia location: Bryson Hotel, Wilshire Boulevard, downtown Los Angeles
Magnolia location: the bungled suicide: Bryson Hotel, Wilshire Boulevard, downtown Los Angeles

It’s in downtown Los Angeles itself that you’ll find the nine-story building where the unsuccessful suicide of the prologue becomes a successful homicide. The Bryson Apartment Hotel, 2701 Wilshire Boulevard was seen also in Stephen Frears’ excellent The Grifters.