Written and Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson (The Master, Punch Drunk Love) Boogie Nights is a story of talent, fame, success and excess set in and around the San Fernando Valley during the late 1970s and early 1980s. The script focuses on the rise and fall of Dirk Diggler (Mark Wahlberg) a young porn star known for his physical similarities to Michael Fassbender. Diggler is spotted while working at a nightclub by famed porn Director Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds) and soon becomes a star of the adult entertainment world. With the help of a select crew and actors, Horner attempts to go beyond making pornography and tries to create movies which people will stay to watch when they’ve ‘completed the task in hand’. With the aid of his adept crew (William H. Macy, Philip Seymour Hoffman) and on screen talent (Julianne Moore, Heather Graham, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle) Horner’s films become actual movies and the stars get rich.
This is the forth of Director Paul Thomas Anderson’s six feature films I’ve seen and unsurprisingly it is excellent. Anderson creates a wonderfully vivid and detailed world which changes gradually with the story. The characters are well written and the soundtrack is perfectly chosen. Anderson’s films have a tendency to attract awards recognition and even this story of sex, drugs and moustaches picked up three Oscar nominations including nods for Anderson (screenplay) as well as Julianne Moore and Burt Reynolds. In fact Anderson’s six films have thus far picked up seven acting nominations at the Oscars. Here the acting is superb from the top to the bottom of the cast.