Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBBBB. USA, 1993. Fine Line Features, Spelling Films International, Avenue Pictures. Screenplay by Robert Altman, Frank Barhydt, based on the writings of Raymond Carver. Cinematography by Walt Lloyd. Produced by Cary Brokaw. Music by Mark Isham. Production Design by Stephen Altman. Costume Design by John Hay. Film Editing by Suzy Elmiger, Geraldine Peroni. Academy Awards 1994. Golden Globe Awards 1994.
This three-hour masterpiece adapts a number of Raymond Carver stories and blends them into one seamless epic. The stories concern a group of individuals living in California and the many challenges that they face in their lives. Julianne Moore stands out as a painter living with a sexually repressed husband (Matthew Modine), whose sister (an excellent Madeleine Stowe) is having marital troubles with her cop husband (Tim Robbins), who is himself having an affair with Frances McDormand. Other players include Lili Taylor and Robert Downey Jr. as a couple, Annie Ross and Lori Singer as an estranged mother and daughter, and a brilliant Andie MacDowell as an apple-pie housewife to Bruce Davison whose life is ruined by tragedy. All the characters have connections and overlaps throughout the entire piece, brilliantly forming one great whole under Altman’s careful eye.