After the extravagant failure of READY TO WEAR (PRET-A-PORTER), Robert Altman reaffirmed his status as a master storyteller with this atmospheric period piece set in his hometown -- Kansas City, MO -- during two days in 1934. Though Altman delivers several vibrant
sequences in which contemporary musical talents wail away in the guise of jazz legends past, the film's focus is the hopelessly misconceived kidnapping of a politician's wife (Miranda Richardson) by a petty gangster's moll (Jennifer Jason Leigh) desperate to free her husband from the clutches of a
ruthless racketeer (Harry Belafonte). The three leads offer richly nuanced performances, and Altman and co-sc...