Tuesday, December 13, 2016

Criterion on FilmStruck: The Player (1992)

The Player movie poster
The Player (1992) – Directed by Robert Altman; Written by Michael Tolkin; Cinematography by Jean Lepine; Starring Tim Robbins, Greta Scacchi, Fred Ward, Whoopi Goldberg, Peter Gallagher, Brion James, Cynthia Stevenson, Vincent D’Onofrio, Dean Stockwell, Richard E. Grant, Dina Merrill, Sydney Pollack, Lyle Lovett, Randall Batinkoff, Gina Gershon, Michael Tolkin, Louise Fletcher, Dennis Franz, Malcolm McDowell, Rene Auberjonois, David Alan Grier, Burt Reynolds, Cher, Nick Nolte, Jack Lemmon, Lily Tomlin, Marlee Matlin, Julia Roberts, Bruce Willis, Anjelica Huston, Elliot Gould, Sally Kellerman, Steve Allen, Harry Belafonte, Shari Belafonte, Karen Black, Gary Busey, Robert Carradine, James Coburn, John Cusack, Peter Falk, Teri Garr, Leeza Gibbons, Scott Glenn, Jeff Goldblum, Buck Henry, Kathy Ireland, Sally Kirkland, Andie McDowell, Martin Mull, Mimi Rogers, Susan Sarandon, Rod Steiger and Robert Wagner.

By Kenny Howell

1992 wasn’t a great year for movies, but leave it to Robert Altman to leave at least one classic. It is a surprise this one even got made. It is the story of a high paid movie executive named Griffin Mill played by Tim Robbins (A Perfect Day) who approves scripts to move on to the next stage of production. He doesn’t quite get them made, but he moves them to the next step, which wields a lot of power.

One day, he starts receiving post cards from a writer who says he is going to kill Mill because he never returned his call. Mill searches back through past appointments, locates the guy who he thinks is sending the post cards and murders him outside a movie theater. The rest of the movie is Mill being ripped a part, trying to keep the status he has gained, despite being hunted for murder.Since Altman had plenty of years in the business, the likelihood that he had come across a Griffin Mill is very possible. Altman (Nashville) tears down the shallow man, but not so much that you still don’t have some interest in his story. The cast are all wonderful and the film is filled with an almost endless number of cameos that are listed above, but probably is still missing a few.

The Player is now streaming on FilmStruck.

Rating: ****

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