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Tanner on Tanner 

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"Everybody's Making Pictures," observes Martin Scorsese in this sly sequel to Robert Altman and Garry Trudeau's Emmy Award-winning satirical miniseries, Tanner '88. Sixteen years after Jack... See full synopsis »
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2004  
1 win & 1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Cynthia Nixon ...  Alex Tanner 4 episodes, 2004
Michael Murphy ...  Jack Tanner 4 episodes, 2004
Pamela Reed ...  T.J. Cavanaugh 4 episodes, 2004
Matt Malloy ...  Deke Connors 4 episodes, 2004
Ilana Levine ...  Andrea Spinelli 4 episodes, 2004
Luke Macfarlane ...  Stuart DeBarge 4 episodes, 2004
Aasif Mandvi ...  Salim Barik / ... 4 episodes, 2004
Harry Belafonte ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2004
Carl Bernstein ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2004
Janeane Garofalo ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2004
Richard Gephardt ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2004
Robert Redford ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2004
Alexandra Kerry ...  Herself 2 episodes, 2004
Jim Fyfe ...  Emile Berkoff 2 episodes, 2004
Chris Matthews ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2004
Al Sharpton ...  Himself 2 episodes, 2004
Michael Kaycheck ...  New York policeman 2 episodes, 2004
Avery Clyde ...  Rebecca 2 episodes, 2004
Marla Sucharetza ...  Roxanne Newman 2 episodes, 2004
Ryan Spahn ...  Ryan 2 episodes, 2004
Krysten Ritter ...  Saleswoman 2 episodes, 2004
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Storyline

"Everybody's Making Pictures," observes Martin Scorsese in this sly sequel to Robert Altman and Garry Trudeau's Emmy Award-winning satirical miniseries, Tanner '88. Sixteen years after Jack Tanner (Michael Murphy) ran for president, his filmmaker daughter Alex (Cynthia Nixon) is making a documentary about her dad's dark horse campaign. At least, that's the plan - until a disastrous screening sends Alex back to the drawing board, and on to the 2004 Democratic National Convention.

Add Full Plot | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

Off the record, on camera.

Genres:

Comedy

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Details

Country:

USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

5 October 2004 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Tanner '04 See more »

Filming Locations:

Boston, Massachusetts, USA See more »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Trivia

Both series take place during historically bad years for Democrats running for president. In 1988, when the original series takes place, Michael Dukakis lost the presidency for a rare third election in a row, while in 2004, when this series is set, John Kerry lost the popular vote for the only time after 1988. See more »

Quotes

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

Connections

Features Charlie Rose (1991) See more »

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User Reviews

 
Tanner Revisited, now with more meta-film stuff!
25 September 2008 | by Quinoa1984See 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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