Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBB.5. USA, 1999. Elysian Dreams, Kudzu, Moonstone Entertainment, Screenplay by Cinematography by Produced by Robert Altman, Music by Production Design by Costume Design by Film Editing by
Marvellously clever comedy that marks Robert Altman’s best work since Short Cuts. Patricia Neal makes a beautiful comeback as an aging widow who decides to grab a gun and do away with herself when she figures she just can’t live without her beloved husband anymore. Niece Glenn Close, wanting to cover up the family shame of a suicide, decides to hide the gun and make it look like murder. Now Neal’s best friend Charles S. Dutton is prime suspect, but nobody knows why he would have committed murder. The film works so beautifully because of how delicately character-driven it is, and thanks to the brilliant writing all the actors involved give fantastic performances: Close is stunning, brilliant right down to her fingertips, Liv Tyler has never been lovelier, Julianne Moore never more quirky and Chris O’Donnell never more vacantly adorable. Dutton is the gem in the film, though, giving a beautifully relaxed and heartfelt performance that makes it all come together perfectly. A laugh from start to close, with a great surprise twist at the end!