Lily Tomlin, Short CutsEverett

"Carver soup" -- that's what Robert Altman called "Short Cuts," his landmark 1993 film that mixed together the loose adaptations of several Raymond Carver short stories into a typically Altmanesque panorama of life in Los Angeles, a city on the edge of the abyss.

The epic drama, released 20 years ago this week (on October 3, 1993), traces a few days in the criss-crossing lives of 22 major characters, as they spin toward looming peril. The result was many Altman fans' favorite movie, one that found the then-68-year-old director at the height of his powers and influence. (Indeed, it's impossible to imagine the career of filmmaker Paul Thomas Anderson without the overwhelming impact of "Short Cuts.")

The film also proved a career highlight for the 22 stars, who were variously newbies, well-established stars, or musicians moonlighting as actors. Here's how they've fared since baring themselves before Altman's revealing gaze.

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Short Cuts Movie Poster
Short Cuts
Based on 22 critics

Many loosely connected characters cross paths in this film, based on the stories of Raymond Carver. Waitress... Read More