Based on an original novel by Michael Tolkin, Robert Altman's respose to Hollywood and all its pretences is a modern classic. The tone is consistently ironic throughout the film, yet The Player manages to succeed as a terse and involved thriller, not only a personal reflection of the treachery and immorality; falsity and inhumanity, of the world of movies. The Player is predominantly a story of studio executive Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins), and his demise from the most sought after Hollywood executive to a man plagued by his own prosperity. The film opens with an eight minute single-shot scene that establishes the glory of Altman's direction, and the film offers over 60 cameos, including Susan Sarandon, Bruce Willis and Julia Roberts, that only increase the satire. Through the course of the film, Altman manages to challenge not only his audience's conscience and morality, but also their perceptions of Hollywood. As Griffin Mill receives death threats, he is forced to decide how to react, and when he tries to find who has been torturing him, it leads only to more calamity. In a stunning third act and shocking denouement, Altman reveals one of the most inspired and exciting films of the 1990s. The Player includes, as well as numerous cameos from Hollywood actors, a wonderful performance from Robbins as a tortured and confused executive searching for answers; a suitably bizarre Whoopi Goldberg as a police officer; and an ironic, knowing rendition of the struggling screenwriter by Richard E. Grant. The Player is truly a monumental achievement. Robert Altman has succeeded in creating an involved, humorous film that manages to question the nature of the film industry, its role in today's society, and its implications for all those who have ever called themselves a fan of the silver screen.