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Altman loosely adapts nine stories by Raymond Carver and relocates them to a middle-class Los Angeles neighbourhood in the midst of a medfly epidemic. Omnipresent helicopters crisscross the summer sky spraying the town with Malathion while 22 characters interweave in nine different plot sets. Jennifer Jason Leigh changes her baby’s diapers while having phone sex for money, Julianne Moore blasély paints hideous pictures of ecstatic people, Andie MacDowell gets eerie phone calls from a resentful baker and Robert Downey Jr elbows a blanket in what unfolds to be complex yet stunningly mastered tale of incommunicability.
This screening is a part of the Classics and Anthologies: Frances McDormand cycle that’s running until the end of August at Cinematek.