Paul Thomas Anderson's (Magnolia) second venture as a writer-director and featuring an all-star ensemble cast, Boogie Nights tells of a young man's adventures in the L.A. porn industry of the late '70s and early '80s.
Set in 1977, back when sex was safe, and the pleasure business was booming, idealistic porn producer Jack Horner (Burt Reynolds) aspires to elevate his craft to an art form. Horner discovers Eddie Adams (Mark Wahlberg), a hot young talent working as a busboy in a nightclub, and welcomes him into the extended family of movie-makers, misfits and hangers-on that are always around. Adams' rise from nobody to a celebrity adult entertainer is meteoric, and soon the whole world seems to know his porn alter ego, "Dirk Diggler". Now, when disco and drugs are in vogue, fashion is in flux and the party never seems to stop, Adams' dreams of turning sex into stardom are about to collide with cold, hard reality.
Winner of Best Supporting Actor (Reynolds), 1998 Golden Globes; Metro Media Award winner (Anderson), 1997 Toronto International Film Festival.
1997Rating: R18+, Medium level sex scenes, medium level violence, drug use155 minsUSA
Considering the potentially explosive nature of the yarn, set in the porn world, Anderson's strategy is remarkably nonjudgmental and nonsensationalistic, largely due to his love and respect for all the characters and his impressive storytelling skills.
Everything about Boogie Nights is interestingly unexpected, even the few seconds of darkness before the film's neon title blasts onto the screen. The director, Paul Thomas Anderson, [displays talent that] is as big and exuberant as skywriting.