"Everybody's Making Pictures," observes Martin Scorsese in this sly sequel to Robert Altman and Garry Trudeau's Emmy Award-winning satirical miniseries... See full synopsis »

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Series cast summary:
 Alex Tanner (4 episodes, 2004)
 Jack Tanner (4 episodes, 2004)
 T.J. Cavanaugh (4 episodes, 2004)
 Deke Connors (4 episodes, 2004)
 Andrea Spinelli (4 episodes, 2004)
 Stuart DeBarge (4 episodes, 2004)
 Salim Barik / ... (4 episodes, 2004)
 Himself (2 episodes, 2004)
Carl Bernstein ...
 Himself (2 episodes, 2004)
 Herself (2 episodes, 2004)
 Himself (2 episodes, 2004)
 Himself (2 episodes, 2004)
 Herself (2 episodes, 2004)
Jim Fyfe ...
 Emile Berkoff (2 episodes, 2004)
 Himself (2 episodes, 2004)
 Himself (2 episodes, 2004)
Michael Kaycheck ...
 New York policeman (2 episodes, 2004)
 Rebecca (2 episodes, 2004)
Marla Sucharetza ...
 Roxanne Newman (2 episodes, 2004)
 Ryan (2 episodes, 2004)
 Saleswoman (2 episodes, 2004)


"Everybody's Making Pictures," observes Martin Scorsese in this sly sequel to Robert Altman and Garry Trudeau's Emmy Award-winning satirical miniseries... See full synopsis »

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis







Release Date:

5 October 2004 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

Tanner '04  »

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Did You Know?


Cynthia Nixon, who plays the same role she did in the original, did this sequel to HBO's _"Tanner '88" (1988) (mini)_ as she was wrapping up work on Sex and the City (1998), also broadcast on HBO. In this series, her character has become a filmmaker and film teacher. In the last episode, a student asks her if she knows anyone "at HBO". See more »


Robert Redford: There's no crying in independent film.
See more »


Features Charlie Rose (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

Tanner Revisited, now with more meta-film stuff!
25 September 2008 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Robert Altman and Garry Trudeau didn't quite hit it out of the park on Tanner on Tanner, but that's mostly in trying to compare it to the sprawling brilliance of the original Tanner 88. Maybe part of that is because the ensemble nature (as a given for almost any Altman production) is broken down a little more and we're left mostly on the trail of Tanner's daughter, Alex, who is a documentary filmmaker-cum-documentary-film professor who is making "My Candidate", a doc on her father's failed 88 campaign. In a strange way it works almost in spite of how the character comes off; Alex Tanner can stand up right alongside Miranda on Sex and the City as the two (can't say it on IMDb) "B-word"-iest characters Cynthia Nixon has ever portrayed. The difference this time, I think, is in a consistency with the character's trials and tribulations as a "Mad Filmmaker" and how it's a logical extension of her original role in the mini-series. Nixon is very good in the role, even when we just want to scream "stop whining, you're at the Democratic Convention!"

As with Tanner 88, we get a whole host of cameos (my favorites being Martin Scorsese, Chris Matthews, Mario Cuomo, Al Franken and Ronald Regan Jr all for various reasons), and some familiar faces like Pamela Reed as TJ. But what's really fascinating about the TV special (not exactly a mini-series, but not a TV movie quite either) is how Altman digs about as deep into the psychology of film-making as he did in the Player- this time with a more hands-on approach. There's once again the young observer, quiet and with a curious eye almost akin to Altman's, filming all of the little things as Alex tries to shoot her movie, and there ends up being a scene, a great one in fact, where two women named Alex and both daughters of democratic hopeful candidates (one Kerry one Tanner) schedule an interview with Regan Jr, only to find they have to conduct it at the same time. This, on top of another scene where Alex's crew runs into a documentary film crew doing a documentary on documentaries, makes it about as close to "Factories in Chicago making miniature models of factories" from Austin Powers as comically possible without overstating the message.

There's also some topical stuff thrown throughout, and some uncomfortable bits and some nice foreshadowing watching it four years later (i.e. Kerry's "if he wins Tanner may become this and that" plot points, and Obama's key-note address shown as the event it was), and Altman and Trudeau are able to convey, often vividly, how to create a layering effect of politics, media, film-making, family and creative strife, and the pure and cruelly paradoxical nature of the political machine. If it's not quite as focused all the time, or always with a clear story arc, as in Tanner 88 it makes up for its faults with superb performances- as if sliding back into comfortable slippers- and a few bitingly satirical surprises (Robert Redford anyone?)

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