Punch-Drunk Love – Nonesuch

After the steamy funk of Boogie Nights and the Aimee Mann tearjerkers of Magnolia, PT Anderson's new film basks in heady strings and wonky harmoniums, scored by regular collaborator Jon Brion. It's deliberately dizzying and disorientating, and not always pleasurable. But the borrowing of Nilsson's "He Needs Me" from Altman's Popeye, sung with sugary desire by Shelley Duvall, is inspired. Waiting to interview Anderson in a hotel lobby recently, I congratulated Emily Watson on her singing of this. It's the only thing I've ever said to Emily Watson.

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After the steamy funk of Boogie Nights and the Aimee Mann tearjerkers of Magnolia, PT Anderson’s new film basks in heady strings and wonky harmoniums, scored by regular collaborator Jon Brion. It’s deliberately dizzying and disorientating, and not always pleasurable. But the borrowing of Nilsson’s “He Needs Me” from Altman’s Popeye, sung with sugary desire by Shelley Duvall, is inspired. Waiting to interview Anderson in a hotel lobby recently, I congratulated Emily Watson on her singing of this. It’s the only thing I’ve ever said to Emily Watson. She politely replied, “That isn’t me, that’s the Shelley Duvall recording.” When it comes to fact-checking, the soundtracks column lives on the front line.

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