The short stories of Pacific Northwest author Raymond Carver are not generally thought to be cinematic in nature. A typical Carver story deals with a telling shift in the small world of personal experience. There are no car chases or explosions, seldom is a gun wielded, and corpses appear only sporadically. And yet director Robert Altman perceived a unifying line of inquiry. Short Cuts (1993) strings together a series of interlocking vignettes that explore and comfort the quieter agonies of day-to-day existence. One sign of Altman’s deft and masterly touch with sensitive material is that a slew of A-list celebrity actresses show off everything from simple nip slip to flaring red muff during the jumps of Short Cuts.