Whitney Pastorek
November 19, 2004 AT 05:00 AM EST

Short Cuts

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
R
performer
Andie MacDowell, Tim Robbins, Bruce Davison, Robert Downey Jr., Jennifer Jason Leigh, Jack Lemmon, Lyle Lovett, Frances McDormand, Matthew Modine, Julianne Moore, Chris Penn, Lily Tomlin, Tom Waits
director
Robert Altman
author
Robert Altman, Frank Barhydt
genre
Drama, Comedy

We gave it a B+

From Short Cuts‘ eerily prescient opening line — ”The time has come to go to war again. Not with Iraq…but with the medfly.” (Hello, West Nile!) — to its literally earthshaking ending, Robert Altman’s interwoven adaptation of nine Raymond Carver stories (and one poem) is still one of the most enjoyable movies ever about people being horrible to one another.

EXTRAS No commentary, but a feature-length doc provides ample opportunity to observe Altman’s hands-on direction. (See him film in a river! Marvel at how he deals with kids!) Plus, a BBC special offers gorgeous Carver readings by Frances McDormand, and a 2004 sit-down with Altman and Robbins revels in anecdotes like Julianne Moore’s response when Altman asked her to appear sans culottes: “Bob?… I really am a red-head.”

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