Short Cuts

Short Cuts ★★★★½

Look, I can’t make the comparison to Magnolia because as I look at the reviews on here, it’s been done to absolute death.
What I will say is that PTA gets absolutely 0 of the nuance that Altman is able to achieve in Short Cuts. PTA’s shrill direction and heavy handed script have none of the quiet moments that it needs like Altman is able to do in this film, even if Altman is utilizing his signature multiple audio tracks in multiple scenes.

Short Cuts is the right kind of long. It’s the Scorsese long. It’s the Seven Samurai and Jacque Rivette long.
That is to say it makes sense and never feels like it’s overstaying it’s welcome, the pace is perfect.

I’m a fan of Raymond Carver’s short stories as well, I’ve read the collection this film is based on and I have to say that I’m impressed with the way that Altman is able to maintain both his and Carver’s voice. I don’t think Altman’s voice often works well for me when it comes to his original scripts, but with films like this and The Long Goodbye, I’m on his wavelength in terms of his sensibilities and humor.

This perfectly portrays existential ennuï in LA, and suburban and urban malaïse between loosely connected people, all of them dealing with crises of their own. From marital to moral to death to characters who are just asking life’s greatest questions.
All in a way that’s not immediately evident and contains some great melodrama as window dressing.

Absolutely one of Altman’s best, a staggering work.

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