The visions of two great American artists merge in Short Cuts, Robert Altman’s kaleidoscopic adaptation of Raymond Carver short stories (one of which is also the basis for Jindabyne, also showing at MIFF this year.) Epic in scale yet meticulously observed, the film interweaves the lives of 22 characters struggling to find solace and meaning in contemporary Los Angeles. The extraordinary cast includes Lori Singer, Tim Robbins, Julianne Moore, Robert Downey, Jr., Jack Lemmon, Lily Tomlin and Tom Waits—all giving fearless performances in one of Altman’s most compassionate creations, alternately—and sometimes simultaneously—comic and tragic, the unmistakable work of a master and the joint creation, in many ways, of its ensemble of fantastic actors.