(out of 5)
After a decade of consistent work done mostly beyond intense critical attention (like that matters), Robert Altman found himself back in the top list of American cinema masters with the release of his Oscar-nominated hit The Player. Altman himself had recently rediscovered an adoration for the stories of Raymond Carver, inspired to make a film adapting Carver’s stories into one big mosaic of American drama, taking various characters from various works and weaving them together into one giant tapestry called Short Cuts. Funding for the project was hard to raise despite enthusiasm for it (including the full support of Carver’s widow Tess Gallagher, who is a longtime fan of Altman’s as was her late husband), so it took the release of The Player and Altman’s popular resurrection to make the film a go. This shallow documentary chronicles the making of the film, includes a bit of background on Carver and his work, and interviews members of the cast and crew throughout filming about their characters. It doesn’t treat the subject with enough gravity; this is one of the most important US films of the decade by one of the country’s most important filmmakers and this comes film off as a DVD extra, but it is full of enough information to engage Short Cuts‘ biggest fans.
Cinematography by John Dorr
Produced by John Dorr, Mike Kaplan
Film Editing by Michael J. Masucci
Cast Tags: Andie MacDowell, Anne Archer, Bruce Davison, Frances McDormand, Fred Ward, Jack Lemmon, Jennifer Jason Leigh, Julianne Moore, Lily Tomlin, Matthew Modine, Robert Altman, Robert Downey Jr., Tim Robbins