PTA Marathon – Hard Eight

Paul Thomas Anderson is one of my favorite directors of all time, this became evident after watching There Will Be Blood and The Master. Unfortunately I haven’t seen them all, this is something that I will correct throughout the following days, as I will embark in a PTA marathon!

Hard Eight was PTA’s first feature film, it is small movie with a tight story, but one that is effectively told and a pleasure watch as you feel that the director knows what he is doing with a camera and with the script (that he wrote). Hard Eight tells the story of John who has lost all his money and Sydney a veteran gambler in his sixties who tries to help John and Clementine who is both a waitress and sometimes a hooker.

Let me just say that Philip Baker Hall is beautiful to watch in this movie, it is such a pleasure to see such good acting, he is indeed Hard Eight’s anchor and I dare to say the heart. Although the movie does not delve too much into Sydney’s past, the heavy burden that Sidney carries is shown in his demure behavior, at the same you truly believe in his intentions when taking care of both John and Clementine.

Both John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow are also good in the movie, but I reiterate Philip Baker Hall’s acting outshines them all, including the brief scenes with Samuel L. Jackson. Philip Seymour Hoffman has a brief stint in Hard Eight which means that PTA has worked with him since it’s first feature film, cool fact to know!

Well, if you have reached this paragraph you have probably noticed that I really liked the movie, I wouldn’t say it’s among my top 3 PTA films but it’s telling of the greatness to come!

Fun Fact: The movie was supposed to be called ‘Sydney’ but the studio changed it and cut the film after firing PTA, only after tough negotiations the director managed to release the movie, under the title Hard Eight.

Hard Eight
  • Acting
  • Cinematography
  • Writing
3.5

Summary

Well, if you have reached this paragraph you have probably noticed that I really liked the movie, I wouldn’t say it’s among my top 3 PTA films but it’s telling of the greatness to come!

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