This is a story set in the San Fernando Valley on a day full of rain with no clouds.

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On one random day in the San Fernando Valley, a dying father, a young wife, a male caretaker, a famous lost son, a police officer in love, a boy genius , an ex-boy genius, a game show host and an estranged daughter will each become part of a dazzling multiplicity of plots, but one story. Through a collusion of coincidence, chance, human action, shared media, past history and divine intervention they will weave and warp through each other´s lives on a day that builds to an unforgettable climax. Some will seek forgiveness, others escape. Some will mend frayed bonds, others will be exposed. Magnolia is a mosaic of American life woven through a series of comic and poignant vignettes. It is a portrait of a lonely city sometimes called up short on love. It is a personal exploration of the hidden elements of crisis. It is a story about putting things right again.

Jeremy Blackman as Stanley Spector
Tom Cruise as Frank T.J. Mackey
Philip Baker Hall as Jimmy Gator
Philip Seymour Hoffman as Phil Parma
William H. Macy as "Quiz Kid" Donnie Smith
Julianne Moore as Linda Partridge
John C. Reilly as Officer Jim Kurring
Jason Robards as Earl Partridge
Melora Walters as Claudia Wilson Gator
Felicity Huffman as Cynthia
Michael Murphy as Alan Kligman, Esq.
Ricky Jay as Burt Ramsey / Narrator

Directed by Paul Thomas Anderson
Written by Paul Thomas Anderson 
Produced by Paul Thomas Anderson, Daniel Lupi, JoAnne Sellar, Michael Deluca
Music by Jon Brion
Cinematography Robert Elswit
Editing by Dylan Tichenor
Distributed by New Line Cinema
Release date(s) December 25, 1999
Running time 188 minutes
Budget $37 million
Box office $48,451,803






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On one random day in the San Fernando Valley, a dying father, a young wife, a male caretaker, a famous lost son, a police officer in love, a boy genius , an ex-boy genius, a game show host and an estranged daughter will each become part of a dazzling multiplicity of plots, but one story.

Through a collusion of coincidence, chance, human action, shared media, past history and divine intervention they will weave and warp through each other´s lives on a day that builds to an unforgettable climax. Some will seek forgiveness, others escape. Some will mend frayed bonds, others will be exposed.

Magnolia is a mosaic of American life woven through a series of comic and poignant vignettes. It is a portrait of a lonely city sometimes called up short on love. It is a personal exploration of the hidden elements of crisis. It is a story about putting things right again.

Magnolia is written, directed and produced by Paul Thomas Anderson. The film stars Jeremy Blackman, Tom Cruise, Melinda Dillon, Philip Baker Hall, Philip Seymour Hoffman, William H. Macy, Julianne Moore, John C. Reilly, Jason Robards and Melora Walters, among others. The film is also produced by JoAnne Sellar with Daniel Lupi as co-producer.


Earl Partridge (Jason Robards) Dying of cancer, his final wish is to communicate with his lost son

Linda Partridge (Julianne Moore) As the husband she married for money lies dying she realizes she has fallen in love with him

Frank Mackey (Tom Cruise) Television guru of female seduction, Frank Mackey is at the top of his macho game, until he has to deal with his family

Stanley Spector (Jeremy Blackman) A child genius turned quiz show star, he has the answers to everything, except how to win his father's love

Rick Spector (Michael Bowen) Unable to keep his own life in order, he lives off his genius son's brilliance

Donnie Smith (W.H.. Macy) A 1960s quiz show star, Donnie now is barely hanging on to his electronics store job and his dreams of love

Jimmy Gator (Philip Baker Hall) Quiz show host and icon of family values, Jimmy Gator is the antithesis of his image

Rose Gator (Melinda Dillon) Ever faithful to her husband, Rose is about to hear his final -- and worst -- confessions

Claudia Wilson Gator (Melora Walters) Living on media saturation and cocaine, Claudia just wants to tell someone the truth

Officer Jim Kurring (John C. Reilly) Compassionate, bumbling LAPD officer Jim Kurring falls in love during a routine investigation

Dixon (Emmanuel Johnson) Budding con artist or street poet? Dixon is the eyes and voice of his neighborhood


Paul Thomas Anderson's Magnolia presents a microcosm of American society through nine intertwined stories that each take place on one clement day in Southern California, during which all kinds of torrents are unleashed. Parents and children, anger and forgiveness, television and real life, longing and loss, chance and volition, sunshine and storms find themselves in collision on this day that builds through a series of accidents to an unexpected phenomenon.

Anderson originally wanted to write "something small and intimate" - something he could shoot in 30 days -- on the heels of his acclaimed second film, Boogie Nights, but his plans went somewhat askew as characters beget other characters and the story blossomed into a complex tapestry of human frailty and universal chaos. "I still think that Magnolia is small and intimate," says Anderson. "It just took 200 pages and 90 days to get the right amount of small and intimate."

Anderson's script -- in which coincidence, chance and the past operate just beneath the surface on the present -- touched a very large nerve in those who read it first. The script amused, moved and disturbed. "I thought it was astounding," comments producer JoAnne Sellar. "It's a very emotional and sophisticated film. The people that you meet and get to know in this movie are people from all walks of life, yet they are all looking for the same thing, for some kind of love."

A group of characters struggling against an insufficiency of love and a preponderance of inexplicable events calls for a cast willing to push the envelope, and Paul Thomas Anderson wrote the film for the ensemble of actors he respects and trusts, with a few new additions.

At the center of the Magnolia maze of interconnections is Earl Partridge, a dying man who is coming to terms with the failures of his life in his final moments. Partridge is played by Jason Robards, who had never worked with Anderson before. Robards was struck by the material's veracity. "I was taken aback by the script because it is so honest about the human condition, about estrangement and relationships with parents and even death," he says. "It had a novelistic approach that I found fascinating. There were no star parts. Every character was equal. It was just a slice of the life we live nowadays."

Playing a dying man was an intriguing challenge for Robards who had just recovered from a near-fatal illness himself. "It was sort of prophetic that I be asked to play a guy going out in life," he comments. "It was just so right for me to do this and bring what I know to it."

The one thing that Earl Partridge wants before he dies is to see his estranged son, Frank T. J. Mackey, who has followed his father's footsteps into the television world, albeit in a very different way. Frank T. J. Mackey is the Tony Robbins of seduction, a sort of Bad Boy Wonder, a grin-flashing charmer who sells popular, high-priced seminars that teach men how to get their way with the ladies. Playing Mackey is Tom Cruise, who had approached Paul Thomas Anderson about doing a project together after viewing Boogie Nights. Anderson wrote the part of Mackey with Cruise in mind. Summarizes producer JoAnne Sellar: "Tom responded really well to the script. After several meetings with Paul, he said he would do it. I thought it was really amazing that he would take this leap of faith, because Frank Mackey is a very risky role."

Trying to broker a meeting between Earl Partridge and Frank Mackey is Partridge's devoted male nurse Phil Parma, played by Philip Seymour Hoffman, who came to the fore in Anderson's Hard Eight and Boogie Nights. Hoffman offers a surprising portrait of an emotionally involved caretaker who is as desperate as his patient for reconciliation before death. "He's very attached to Earl Partridge," explains Hoffman. "From the moment Phil realizes that Earl is going to die soon, he's basically an emotional wreck, because he has really platonically fallen in love with this man."

Adds Hoffman: "I liked that he's not what you think a male nurse should be with the white pants and the hospital shirts, who feels very little as he gets his check and leaves the door. This guy really takes pride in the fact that every day he's dealing with life and death circumstances. I appreciated that Paul was asking for something completely different from me - and that the film is something completely different. That's the stuff you really want to be a part of."

Hoffman was acutely aware of his character's role in the pantheon. "Mine is the only character in the movie who isn't trying to clean up anything, who isn't dealing with his past. But even I am drawn into this need to set things right," he explains. "The whole movie's riddled with this feeling that anything could happen at any moment. You could die or you could discover something that changes everything. So whatever you think it is you need to be doing in life, you better start doing it."

Equally in love with Earl Partridge is his young wife Linda, which comes as a shock to her, years after marrying the man strictly for his money. Now, the nerve-wracked Linda is a prisoner to pharmaceuticals as she searches her soul for how to right the wrongs she has committed in her marriage. Linda is played by Julianne Moore, who garnered an Oscar™ nomination for her work in Boogie Nights.

Part of the trick for Moore in Magnolia is playing a character who "is hysterical throughout half the movie." Moore wanted to move beyond surface sentimentality with the character, to "make her really, really human," she says. "You know, this is a woman who on the outside has everything, the big diamond rings and the fur coat, but she has thrown out everything spiritual. Now, at the final moment, she realizes she is going to be left alone, that she really doesn't have anything, and that she's made some very bad choices. She's an operatic character in a way," observes Moore. "The challenge was to be really, really truthful and very emotional with big gestures, yet somehow stay rooted in earnest reality."

Earl Partridge's influence also reaches beyond his family to the man who hosts his most popular game show: Jimmy Gator of "What Do Kids Know?" Despite being one of America's most wholesome TV icons, the truth of Jimmy's life would obliterate his image. Philip Baker Hall, who won critical admiration for his role as a gambler seeking redemption in Hard Eight, portrays Jimmy Gator as a man whose electronic façade is being quickly erased.

Explains Hall: "Jimmy has ridiculed people and trampled on people all his life, but he has the public persona of being a kind and amiable father figure, full of good television cheer. Now that he's facing the end of his life, he's being asked questions he can't answer. He's got like 12 hours to make 60 years right, to try to come to terms with his regrets and find forgiveness from his daughter."

In the meantime, Jimmy Gator continues to host "What Do Kids Know?" which has made young Stanley Spector into a pre-adolescent television hero. A child genius driven by an insatiable thirst for knowledge, Stanley can answer any factual question. But the answers to why his father won't love him evade him. To find a child who could exude both intellectual assurance and childish vulnerability as Stanley, the filmmakers went on a search, emerging with newcomer Jeremy Blackman who makes his feature film debut in Magnolia.

Blackman, himself a recipient of the President of the United States Award for Outstanding Academic Achievement, had a great deal of insight into his character. "Stanley's already a genius, but I think his life would be a lot better if he had more freedom, if his father let him express himself more. I think Stanley has a good heart but right now he's in the middle of a crisis," says Blackman.

Stanley Specter's troubles echo those of Donnie Smith, who once upon a time was a famous quiz kid for a few glorious moments before speeding off into obscurity. William H. Macy turns in another nuanced performance as Smith, including an extraordinary soliloquy on life's absurdities and obsessions in a hole-in-the-wall bar. Macy was drawn to the chance to work with Paul Thomas Anderson again. "I think Paul came out of the womb a great director," he says. "The guy thinks cinematically. He has an indefatigable knowledge of the mechanics of it all and his sets are vibrant and fun."

Equally interested in reuniting with Anderson was John C. Reilly, who played pivotal roles in Anderson's two previous films. Here, as LAPD officer Jim Kurring, Reilly plays against expectation, presenting a bottom-of-the-pack Los Angeles cop whose primary impulse is to help other people.

Says Reilly of his reaction to the script: "I had a really emotional response to it. I think Paul has a remarkable ability for capturing the little human details of life and at the same time presenting a very big perspective on humanity at large. It's the perfect kind of millennial movie I think, an intense investigation into what really drives us and the distance between who we think we are and who we really are."

Reilly has played several cops before, but never one as wholly wrought as Jim Kurring. The character was born during improvisation sessions between Reilly and Anderson during which they imagined a mediocre-at-best cop finding himself in "Cops"-like situations. For Reilly, the intense relationship with Anderson was all part of the draw. "No one's making movies like Paul is right now," he comments. "But the thing is if you really want to bring your vision to a movie, you have to be incredibly unrelenting and insistent. If you want to keep the vision pure, you have to be stubborn and nobody is as stubborn as Paul."

Jim Kurring's trajectory twists when he finds himself searching the apartment of Claudia, a woman clearly troubled by her past, who also happens to be the daughter of quiz-show host Jimmy Gator. In this cadre of lost souls, Claudia may well be the most outwardly lost and Melora Walters imbues her with a sweet, hesitant quality that is almost hypnotic in its spiral.

"I was scared of this role," admits Walters, "because of what I knew I would have to tap into to be Claudia. I really had to get into a place where every moment felt like it was a life or death moment."
Echoing the rest of the cast, she summarizes: "I think one of the things that Paul has is this amazing ability to really look at what makes people operate, what makes things happen, how choices are made and how they affect your life and everybody around you."

Among the many other characters who affect the lives of those in Magnolia are roles played by Michael Bowen, Melinda Dillon, Henry Gibson, Felicity Huffman, Ricky Jay, Emmanuel Johnson, Alfred Molina, and Michael Murphy.

Production designers Mark Bridges and William Arnold and cinematographer Robert Elswit worked closely with Paul Thomas Anderson to achieve the film's look - bringing personal intensity into a cusp-of-the-millennium milieu. "We looked at films with really, really close, tight palettes, films that were warm and beautiful and tried to analyze what made them so and visually tried to do that with Magnolia," explains Bridges. "It was about real control with colors and shadows, letting the textures get richer and richer as the characters deepen throughout the film."

The design plays with the contrasts in the script - the terse opposition between the cool blues of television and the warmth of a home's wood or a woman's flesh tones. Bridges and Arnold also wanted to evoke the colors in the magnolia flower: greens, browns and delicate off-whites. Throughout it all, a sense of period - the period right now - had to prevail.

Summarizes Bridges: "This is a movie that is very much about a time - 1999 - and a place -- the San Fernando Valley. Even though the film is contemporary we approached it as a period piece because we really wanted to peg the way things are currently - the individuality and the estrangement, the media influence and the use of clothes as hiding places."

Bridges also designed Magnolia's costumes, individualizing each to the character but with one common thread: "Everybody wears the external like camouflage in this film, presenting something to the world that is different from what is inside." Thus it is for example, that Julianne Moore's Linda is outfitted in a three-quarter length cashmere, fur-collared coat though inside she is impoverished; Jason Robards´ Earl Partridge wears a hospital gown, but then throws an old sweater over it because it reminds him a past fraught with mistakes; and Frank Mackey has the slim, body-conscious, form-fitting clothes of a superhero, although he is falling apart.

In addition to the designs for 1999, Bridges and Arnold also designed the three segments for Magnolia's prologue, jumping between a 1911 prison yard, a 1958 tenement and the early 1980s.

Again, authenticity was the name of the game. For the turn-of-the-century hanging segment, Anderson even shot through a hand-cranked Pathe camera standard to its day. "There's nothing like the real deal," says Anderson. "It's fun to see what it was like in 1911 hand-cranking the camera, finding out the limitations, the difficulties. You feel like you are there for a minute or two. And that's what I believe: you just can't fake it."

The nine interdependent plot lines of Magnolia are set to a soundtrack of songs by Aimee Mann, whose music becomes part of the warp and weave of the film. Paul Thomas Anderson had met Mann through her husband, Michael Penn, who did the score for Boogie Nights and Hard Eight, then, while writing Magnolia was particularly inspired by her song "Wise Up." Hoping to entice Mann to write more songs for the film, he sent her the script. "I usually have a hard time reading scripts, but this was different," she says. "It was so ambitious, with so many stories, but I had total faith in Paul that he could do it."

Even as Paul Thomas Anderson was completing the Magnolia script, Mann was writing the film's end-title song, "Save Me," her music becoming part and parcel of the film's creative process.

Mann's songs fit into the intimate style of Magnolia. "I look for lyrics that celebrate language and say something in a really interesting and personal way," she states. "I'm attracted to writing about people who have the same kind of thematic threads running through their lives - because they are themes that are running through a lot of our lives. And I think that's true of Magnolia as well."


Paul Thomas Anderson (Director/Writer/Producer) is known for writing and directing risk-taking feature films that head into unexpected directions and taboo terrain. Anderson's intricate character interplay and visceral evocation of a vast range of emotions have distinguished him as a director with an extremely personal and distinctive cinematic vision. Magnolia is his third and most ambitious film to date.

Anderson developed a passion for filmmaking at an early age and began his career as a production assistant on various television movies, videos and game shows in Los Angeles and New York. After working in a similar capacity for several small independent films, Anderson won attention for his short film "Cigarettes and Coffee" which he shot with a borrowed camera. The featurette, about five characters who interact in a Las Vegas coffee shop, led to his first full-length motion picture, developed at the Sundance Institutes Filmmaker's Workshop.

The result was Hard Eight, a story of love, revenge and surprise redemption in Nevada starring Philip Baker Hall, John C. Reilly, Gwyneth Paltrow, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Samuel L. Jackson. The film was acclaimed for its complex performances and fascinating human psychology. Film Comment declared Paul Thomas Anderson the most promising director of 1997.

Anderson's second film, Boogie Nights, fulfilled on that promise, garnering critical acclaim and three Academy Award™ nominations. Starring a cast including Mark Wahlberg, Burt Reynolds, Julianne Moore, Heather Graham, John C. Reilly, Don Cheadle, Philip Baker Hall and Philip Seymour Hoffman, the film followed an extended family of filmmakers struggling to revolutionize the adult entertainment industry. The film also received the Boston Society of Film Critics Award for Best New Filmmaker and Anderson garnered the PEN Center USA West Literary Award for Best Screenplay.

Courtesy of New Line Cinema


Jimmy Gator's assistant Mary is played by Eileen Ryan who just happens to be an actress & the mother of Michael Penn.

Rebecca Pidgeon, actress, & wife of David Mamet was offered the role of Jimmy Gator's mistress. She had to turn the role down due to her pregnancy. The mistress name is mentioned in the film (Paula), but Paul decided not to cast the part.

Mark Wahlberg was originally supposed to have a cameo in the Seduce and Destroy scenes but it did not work out. Here's the quote from Mark from the Toronto Sun: "There's no animosity between Paul and I," says Wahlberg, "We will work together again. He talked to me about playing a very small part in Magnolia. The hook was that I'd be able to kiss Tom Cruise."

Thomas Jane (Boogie Nights' Todd Parker) plays the young Jimmy Gator in a few still pictures & one very brief flashback scene with the young "Quiz Kid Donnie Smith".

Porn actress Veronica Hart, plays one of the Dental Assistants when Donnie Smith visits the dentist.

Mark Flanagan played the vagrant "Joseph Green" in the prologue. Mark Flanagan is the owner of the popular L.A. club, Largo, with weekly performances headlined by Jon Brion, as well as others in PTA's circle of friends: Fiona, Aimee, Michael Penn & Elliott Smith.

Boogie Nights veterans in Magnolia include: John C. Reilly, Melora Walters, Philip Baker Hall, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Julianne Moore, William H. Macy, Ricky Jay, Robert Downey Sr., Thomas Jane, Veronica Hart, Patrick Warren, Alfred Molina & Luis Guzman.

Mim (Patricia Forte) is the same actress who played the school teacher in Boogie Nights. Her face was not shown in Boogie, but you can hear her voice as she passes out the test to Rollergirl & her classmates.


Jim Kurring & Marcie (Extended Scene)
Jimmy Gator & Paula
Create a Crisis
Frank Meets Phil
Frank & Earl Say Goodbye (Much different version)
The Worm Subplot (Why it was cut out), all the scenes, "It's not easy being green & more!



Academy Awards USA (2000)
Nominated Best Original Screenplay (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Nominated Best Supporting Actor (Tom Cruise)
Nominated Best Original Song (Save Me - Aimee Mann)

Apex Awards (1999)
Nominated Picture (Paul Thomas Anderson & Joanne Sellar)Nominated Actor in a Supporting Role (Tom Cruise)
Nominated Actress in a Supporting Role (Julianne Moore)
Nominated Director (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Nominated Original Screenplay (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Nominated Original Song (Save Me - Aimee Mann)
Nominated Original Song Score (Jon Brion)
Nominated Achievement (Visual Effects)

Berlin International Film Festival (2000)
Won Golden Berlin Bear
Won Reader Jury of the "Berliner Morgenpost"

Blockbuster Entertainment Awards (2000)
Won Favorite Supporting Actor - Drama (Tom Cruise)
Nominated Favorite Supporting Actress - Drama (Julianne Moore)

Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards (2000)
Nominated Best Picture  

BSB Movie Brazil Awards
Won Best Makeup (Elaine L. Offers)Nominated Best Original Screenplay (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Nominated Best Supporting Actor (Tom Cruise)
Nominated Best Song (Save Me - Aimee Mann)

Chicago Film Critics Association Awards (2000)
Won Best Supporting Actor (Tom Cruise)
Nominated Best Picture
Nominated Best Director (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Nominated Best Original Screenplay (Paul Thomas Anderson)

Chlotrudis Awards (2000)
Won Best Picture
Won Best Supporting Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman)
Nominated Best Director (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Nominated Best Cinematography (Robert Elswit)

Fennecus Awards (1999)
Nominated Actor in a Supporting Role (Tom Cruise)
Nominated Actor in a Cameo Role (Felicity Huffman)
Nominated Juvenile Performance (Jeremy Blackman)
Nominated Original Screenplay (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Nominated Production Design - Contemporary (William Arnold & Mark Bridges)
Nominated Song Score (Jon Brion)
Nominated Original Song (Save Me - Aimee Mann)
Nominated Adapted Song (One - Aimee Mann)
Nominated Song Performance in Studio (One - Aimee Mann)
Nominated Achievement (Casting) 

Florida Film Critics Circle Awards (2000)
Won Best Picture
Won Best Ensemble Cast

Golden Globes, USA (2000)
Won Best Performance By An Actor in a Supporting Role (Tom Cruise)
Nominated Best Original Song - Motion Picture (Save Me - Aimee Mann)

Golden Satellite Awards (2000)
Won Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated Motion Picture - Drama
Nominated Supporting Actor - Drama (Tom Cruise)
Nominated Director of a Motion Picture (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Nominated Motion Picture Screenplay Original (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Nominated Original Song (Save Me - Aimee Mann)

Grammy Awards (2000) 
Nominated Best Compilation Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or other Visual Media
Nominated Best Score Soundtrack Album for a Motion Picture, Television or other Visual Media
Nominated Best Song Written for a Motion Picture, Television or Other Visual Media

Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists (2000)
Nominated Best Director - Foreign Film (Paul Thomas Anderson)

Las Vegas Film Critics Society Awards (2000)
Nominated Best Picture
Nominated Best Song (Save Me - Aimee Mann)

London Film Critics Circle Awards (2000)
Nominated Screenwriter of the Year (Paul Thomas Anderson)

National Board of Review (1999)
Won Best Supporting Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman)Won Best Supporting Actress (Julianne Moore)
Won Ensemble Performance (Entire Cast)
Runner Up Best Film #3

National Society of Film Critics (2000)
Runner Up Best Supporting Actor (Philip Seymour Hoffman)
Runner Up Best Supporting Actress (Julianne Moore)

New York Film Critics Circle Awards (1999)
Runner Up Best Supporting Actress (Julianne Moore)
Runner Up Best Director (Paul Thomas Anderson)

Online Film Critics Society Awards (1999)
Nominated Best Film #6 Nominated Best Supporting Actress (Julianne Moore)
Nominated Best Ensemble Cast
Nominated Best Original Screenplay (Paul Thomas Anderson)

Online Motion Picture Academy Awards (1997)
Won Supporting Actor (Tom Cruise)Won Supporting Actress (Julianne Moore)
Won Adapted Song (One)
Won Ensemble
Nominated Best Picture
Nominated Younger Actor or Actress (Jeremy Blackman)
Nominated Casting (Cassandra Kulukundis)
Nominated Director (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Nominated Original Screenplay (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Nominated Original Song (Save Me)
Nominated Cinematic Moment: Frogs

San Sebastián International Film Festival (2000)
Won FIPRESCI Film of the Year (Paul Thomas Anderson)

Screen Actors Guild Awards (2000)
Nominated Best Supporting Actor (Tom Cruise)Nominated Best Supporting Actor (Julianne Moore)
Nominated Outstanding Performance by a Cast (Entire Cast)

Toronto Film Critics Association Awards (1999)
Won Best FilmWon Best Director (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Won Best Screenplay (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Writers Guild of America (2000)
Nominated Best Original Screenplay (Paul Thomas Anderson)
Young Artist Awards (2000)
Nominated Best Performance in a Feature Film - Leading Young Actor (Jeremy Blackman)