TBTo the Screen

"The Player" (1992):

“Can we talk about something else besides Hollywood? We’re intelligent people.”

Griffin (Tim Robbins) is right. You have to be intelligent to shake hands at the right moment with the right people to get the deal closed. “The Player” is an inside look at the art of selling film ideas. There is the perspective from the secretary, the studio executive and the flailing agent. And yes there is a murder.

While David Lynch is the master of eerie reality storytelling, there is something creepy about the way art imitates life in this film and it is due to Robert Altman’s direction. The obsession and intimacy is magnetic.

Tim Robbins, Lyle Lovett, Lily Tomlin, Andie MacDowell, and Peter Gallagher were also in the phenomenally crafted, “Short Cuts.” Cameos galore also tell this film’s story: Anjelica Huston, John Cusack, Susan Sarandon, Marlee Matlin and Harry Belafonte just to name a few. Peter Gallagher playing a sharp lawyer is reminiscent to his future role as Sandy Cohen (Couldn’t resist the connection.) Jeremy Piven appears as a doe-eyed extra, which is hilarious as he went on to play Ari Gold. Julia Roberts has a quick role. So does Susan Sarandon. So does Bruce Willis. There are so many people who have worked together, slept together and married each other that it is unreal.

Side note: Watching Whoopi Goldberg, who plays a detective, talking about how heavy an Oscar is probably is the best scene in this film.