Much of what drives P.T. Anderson's turn-of-the-millennium masterpiece is its meditation on the universal preponderance of loneliness. Every character, from Tom Cruise's egomaniacal self-help guru

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Music in Movies on Mondays: Aimee Mann's "Wise Up" in Magnolia

Much of what drives P.T. Anderson's turn-of-the-millennium masterpiece is its meditation on the universal preponderance of loneliness. Every character, from Tom Cruise's egomaniacal self-help guru to the preternaturally talented boy genius (played with understated, but powerful grace by Jeremy Blackman), feels varying degrees of acute isolation. While some critics and audiences had issues with the characters bursting into song during the film's climactic scene, it was also a pretty brave and jarring way of showing that people can sometimes be connected and comforted by loneliness, not withered by it. In the clip below, Aimee Mann's vocals remain underneath as each character sings a few lines from "Wise Up":

 
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