Paul Thomas Anderson’s Altmanesque portrait of a day in the crisscrossing lives of various San Fernando Valley residents—including a sleazy motivational speaker (Tom Cruise); a distraught, pill-popping, soon-to-be widow (Julianne Moore); a has-been former quiz kid phenom turned sad sack (William H. Macy); a lovelorn cop (John C. Reilly); and a troubled, coke-addicted young woman (Melora Walters)—is a gloriously sprawling, dizzyingly ambitious roulette wheel of chance encounters, freak occurrences, and emotional extremes. Throughout, the director creates a whirlwind sense of visual dynamism via relentlessly roving Steadicam work, including an epic, tour-de-force tracking shot through the backstage buzz of a television game show in the moments leading up to showtime.