Oscar Directors: Altman, Robert–Film Worldview and Career

Robert Altman’s film career was erratic, defined by some recklessly original movies, as well as some bummers, flops, and valiant efforts that failed.

As Pauline Kael has observed, when working at the top of his form, no one can touch Altman, who showed more  sheer stubbornness and effrontery than any other great American director of his generation.

A late bloomer, Altman made his best movies in the 1970s, when he was in his 40s: M.A.S.H., McCabe and Mrs. Miller, Long Goodbye, Thieves Like Us, California Slit, and Nashville (for some critics, his best film).

Among other achievements, Robert Altman is known for his astute and sharp casting.

He tends to picks performers that are endowed with strong personalities, hoping they would be able to built and play their characters, based on their distinctive personas.

Actors love him because he encourages them not only to trust their instincts but also to trust each other.

His experimental method with actors often yields such spectacular results that we wants to see more of the characters they play; ironically, it’s often the loose script that restrains them and holds them in check.