Was it Robert Altman, Matthew Modine, or Andie McDowell who ruined Short Cuts?

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I don't think it's Altman, though I was unnerved by his statement that he made a "Carver stew." I guess that's his right as a filmmaker adapting a series of short stories into one interconnected movie. I loved the beginning and middle of this movie, and the transformation of Chris Penn from oafish nice guy to emasculated murderer is wrenching (although I have my qualms with that ending, too), and Tim Robbins is hilarious as that prickish cop. Tom Waits and Lily Tomlin I loved. But that scene that is supposed to HUGE, where McDowell snaps at Lyle Lovett is just... lame. She's such a bad actress. Maybe someone else could have sold it. The movie lost me, though, earlier than that, when a jealous Matthew Modine tells Julianne Moore, "Aren't these wonderful, these games we play," as he stereotypically drinks liquor out of a glass. I mean, come on. Sure, shitty acting doesn't help that line, but that is such a cliche, and it's really disappointing to come from a master like Altman. Or am I not getting it? Is this movie (which I think is very good but flawed) much better than I think?

jposnan, Saturday, 21 April 2007 01:41 (twelve years ago) link

don't be dissing Modine.

Jack Lemmon is the sore thumb in that cast.

Dr Morbius, Monday, 23 April 2007 13:41 (twelve years ago) link

Altman, though McDowell doesn't help.

Who (almost) saves Short Cuts: PETER GALLAGHER

C0L1N B..., Monday, 23 April 2007 22:21 (twelve years ago) link

You know, I was trying to figure out if Short Cuts came out before or after Glengarry. I guess I could really easily check imdb, but come on, that requires effort. The way he acts in both is disappointingly familiar.

jposnan, Tuesday, 24 April 2007 03:22 (twelve years ago) link

t/s: Andie McDowell's performance vs. prosthetic Huey Lewis penis performance

(I don't think Short Cuts was actually *ruined* at all, despite some cringey scenes).

Ben Boyerrr, Tuesday, 24 April 2007 11:10 (twelve years ago) link

three years pass...

i just saw this and pret a porter recently and was thinking 'damn this robert altman guy is really sweet and funny. i don't know why i have slept on him so long.'

i'll agree that mcdowell doesn't quite muster up the existential frustration that would likely come with the situation between her and the baker. but i think part of what is happening in that scene is the utter exhaustion of her character and also a transformation of the baker from dickish, self-centered revenger to comforting stranger. in fact he is one of the few characters who steps off his hamster wheel in order to show another human being compassion.

it seemed to me with this movie altman was giving a middle finga to the hollywood persona and all the self centered people that it to produce.

Tom Waits and Lily Tomlin are aces. I would have watched a film based just on their short story.

cool and remote like dancing girls (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Wednesday, 5 May 2010 17:07 (nine years ago) link

yea so true. i would watch tom waits in any film pretty much, and have
i love the part where he comes into the diner with yard debris in his hair, totally distraught and nearly in tears and she treats it like it's happened dozens of time before. "i slept in the yard. i couldn't sleep in our bed." as she plucks the debris from his curls

lyle lovette's performance is painfully bad imo. perhaps he could have read his lines better off an offscreen teleprompter, his performance is just so dull and flat.

_▂▅▇█▓▒░◕‿‿◕░▒▓█▇▅▂_ (Steve Shasta), Wednesday, 5 May 2010 17:36 (nine years ago) link

but that is my understanding of lyle lovette's ouvre: so dull and flat. except his hair. he's got that kid'n'play hi top fade for the white-guy thing goin on!

seven years pass...

Jack Lemmon is the sore thumb in that cast.

― Dr Morbius, Monday, April 23, 2007 9:41 AM (ten years ago) Bookmark Flag Post Permalink

this is insane, his scene with Bruce Davison in the hospital telling him why he left him is the centerpiece of Short Cuts in the same way that "I'm Easy" is the centerpiece of Nashville.

flappy bird, Tuesday, 20 February 2018 07:51 (one year ago) link

really? He just oozes falsity (the actor, not the moment).

morning wood truancy (Alfred, Lord Sotosyn), Tuesday, 20 February 2018 15:47 (one year ago) link


flappy bird, Tuesday, 20 February 2018 15:48 (one year ago) link

Was it Robert Altman, Matthew Modine, or Andie McDowell who ruined Short Cuts?

it was me, sry

lag∞n, Tuesday, 20 February 2018 16:28 (one year ago) link

I don't think I dislike anyone in the movie (the actors, I mean, not the largely abhorrent characters they play), it just doesn't hang together. It needed a 'hub' for the disparate threads to wind around, e.g. the Nashville music scene. And no, the deus ex earthquake doesn't count.

The Lyle Lovett arc could've been a film unto itself imo.

Animal Bag's Greatest Hits Vol. 5 (Old Lunch), Tuesday, 20 February 2018 16:34 (one year ago) link

ya the circuit in Nashville is smaller, it's easier to tie (almost) everyone together, in Short Cuts the constant interaction between storylines & the very astute editing achieves the same effect imo. having seen Magnolia years before Short Cuts, the impact of the earthquake was definitely dulled, but the awful CGI camera shaking more so than the device itself.

flappy bird, Tuesday, 20 February 2018 17:02 (one year ago) link

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