by Paislee House, Film Critic
You’re probably expecting this recommendation to be a horror movie, but Netflix didn’t add any strong horror this month. Unless you count “Stranger Things,” but that’s a TV show. This month’s pick is a different kind of scary. Paul Thomas Anderson’s “Boogie Nights” is the semi-true story of a 70’s porn star who gets lost in the lustful world of sex, drugs and love.
Paul Thomas Anderson (PTA) is one of the greatest directors to ever live. His films are always beautiful, filled with strong stories, vehicles for masterful performances and the music never fails to enhance the experiences he delivers. “Boogie Nights” was PTA’s second feature film released in 1997, and it stars Mark Wahlberg in what is easily his best film performance. Weirdly enough, Wahlberg recently admitted in an interview his role as Eddie Adams/Dirk Diggler was one of his regrets and he hopes God forgives him for it. He should probably ask God’s forgiveness for 2001’s “Planet of the Apes” but whatever.
Outside of Wahlberg’s regrets, it’s probably safe to assume the rest of the stellar cast isn’t seeking repentance for making the movie. The cast of “Boogie Nights” boasts names like Julianne Moore, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Burt Reynolds, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle and many more, and every single performance is breathtaking in its masterfulness. You wouldn’t think a story about the glory days of porn would be compelling, but due to the incredible acting and PTA’s direction, “Boogie Nights” takes you through the ringer as you watch Dirk’s rise and fall.
At this point, “Boogie Nights” should be considered a classic. It’s one of the best dramas around, and it covers a unique topic often left alone by studios. Whether your interests lie in Paul Thomas Anderson or porn, you’ve got to see “Boogie Nights.”
Honorable Mentions: “Raw,” “The Meyerowitz Stories (New and Selected)” and “Before Midnight”