Short Cuts (1993): Critical Status of Altman’s Adaptation of Raymond Carver

Short Cuts (1993)

Short Cuts, based on short stories by Raymond Carver, was a lengthy, complex film that interweaves the lives of two dozen characters in creating a portrait of contemporary Los Angeles.

The movie’s faithfulness to the source material was disputed, but it caught the hazy, slippery looseness of L.A., specifically the casual violence and childishness.

As in Nashville, the cuts, the pans, and the looking sideways overcame the director’s innate cynicism, but there was also squeamishness about people that curdled the film.  The scale made this bitterness obtrusive and as disconcerting as Altman’s irritable superiority.