Movies Written and Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson

by IMDb-Editors | last updated - 03 Jan 2018

Paul Thomas Anderson's new film 'Phantom Thread' is his second collaboration with Daniel Day-Lewis. It also marks the eighth feature film that the director has also written. Let's take a look at the vision of this storyteller through the films he has both written and directed.

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Paul Thomas Anderson

Paul Thomas Anderson

Paul Thomas Anderson, along with directors like Quentin Tarantino, is among the early generation of "video-store filmmakers," directors who grew up in the era of the VCR and began their early filmmaking efforts on camcorders. Although determined to be a filmmaker, he withdrew from NYU’s film program after only two days, deciding to learn by making his own film. The movie, a short entitled Cigarettes & Coffee, screened at Sundance in 1993. It was this film that led to his first feature film production.

Philip Baker Hall in Hard Eight (1996)

Hard Eight (1996)

After Anderson took his short film Cigarettes & Coffee to Sundance, he decided to develop it into a feature film. The movie, originally entitled Sydney, was developed and financed through The Sundance Lab, with Rysher Entertainment attached to produce and distribute. Rysher reedited the film and retitled it Hard Eight, against Anderson's wishes. The conflict inspired him to fight for creative control over this and future endeavors. He was able to release his cut after Rysher folded. The success of Hard Eight led to his next feature, Boogie Nights.

Mark Wahlberg in Boogie Nights (1997)

Boogie Nights (1997)

Inspired by his childhood in the San Fernando Valley, Boogie Nights takes place during the '70s and '80s, the burgeoning years of the porn industry. Anderson first started working with the themes he would develop in Boogie Nights in an early short film, The Dirk Diggler Story. Although he chronicles an era through the eyes of porn stars, it's the characters, their relationships, and the family they form that are at the center of the story.

John C. Reilly and Melora Walters in Magnolia (1999)

Magnolia (1999)

Magnolia is an ensemble piece, knitting together the fortunes of people in search of love and forgiveness as they go about their lives in the course of 24 hours. The cast includes Jason Robards in his final role, Tom Cruise in what many consider to be his best performance, and Julianne Moore in a moving portrayal of a gold-digging wife-turned-loving widow. The movie also features equally strong performances from John C. Reilly, Philip Baker Hall, Philip Seymour Hoffman, and William H. Macy. The rain of frogs may not be everyone's cup of tea, but it brings Anderson's story of redemption to a fitting close.

Adam Sandler and Emily Watson in Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

Punch-Drunk Love (2002)

Anderson, a big fan of the films of Adam Sandler, saw in the actor a capacity for pathos that made him ideal for the role of Barry Egan, the slightly awkward, slightly obsessive-compulsive novelty salesman with anger issues in Punch-Drunk Love. This nuanced, dark romantic-comedy features Emily Watson as Sandler's love interest. Where the characters in Magnolia are searching for love and forgiveness, Barry and Lena (Watson) find them in each other.

Daniel Day-Lewis in There Will Be Blood (2007)

There Will Be Blood (2007)

Loosely based on the Upton Sinclair novel "Oil!," There Will Be Blood is the epic saga of oilman Daniel Plainview (Daniel Day-Lewis). Plainview's rise and fall are seen against a backdrop of capitalism, evangelical Christianity, and greed. The film was nominated for eight Oscars, including Best Motion Picture, Best Director, and Best Adapted Screenplay. Day-Lewis received his second Best Actor Oscar for his performance, and Robert Elswit won Best Achievement in Cinematography for his work on the film.

Philip Seymour Hoffman, Amy Adams, and Ambyr Childers in The Master (2012)

The Master (2012)

In The Master, a World War II vet, played by Joaquin Phoenix, has trouble reintegrating into civilian life and is drawn to a philosophical cult called "The Cause" and its charismatic leader, Lancaster Dodd (Philip Seymour Hoffman). Widely praised, the film garnered three Oscar nominations, two for Phoenix and Hoffman, and a third for Amy Adams, who plays Dodd's wife, Peggy.

Joaquin Phoenix in Inherent Vice (2014)

Inherent Vice (2014)

Adapted from the Thomas Pynchon novel of the same name, Inherent Vice divided audiences. Critics hailed it as among the best of the current century, while others found it confusing and incoherent. Most praised it for doing justice to the source material, an epic tale of a stoner private investigator (Joaquin Phoenix) who becomes embroiled in the Los Angeles underworld when his ex-girlfriend and her rich boyfriend go missing.

Daniel Day-Lewis in Phantom Thread (2017)

Phantom Thread (2017)

Phantom Thread, Anderson's second collaboration with Daniel Day-Lewis, is set in the 1950s world of London couture. Day-Lewis stars as the fastidious fashion designer and dressmaker Reynolds Woodcock. He becomes enamored of Alma (Vicky Krieps), a young woman in whom he sees the ideal form for his creations. His orderly life is disrupted when he discovers his strong-willed muse has a mind of her own. After filming was complete, Day-Lewis announced that this would be his last film and that he would be retiring from acting. The movie has been nominated for two Golden Globes (Best Performance by an Actor in a Motion Picture and Best Original Score), generating considerable Oscar buzz.

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