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This movie tells the intersecting stories of various people connected to the music business in Nashville. Barbara Jean is the reigning queen of Nashville but is near collapse. Linnea and Delbert Reese have a shaky marriage and 2 deaf children. Opal is a British journalist touring the area. These and other stories come together in a dramatic climax. Written by
All the band musicians used in the film were real musicians working in Nashville at the time. See more »
In the crowd near the end of the film, Kenny Fraiser is just wearing his regular blue shirt he has worn through out the film. However, after Barbera Jean starts singing solo, we see him come into the crowd wearing a brown jacket. See more »
I suppose the brilliance of "Nashville" is that almost 30 years after its initial release, Robert Altman's slice of Americana has lost none of its punch. Despite being made in the Watergate and Vietnam era, the film remains relevant as ever.
In fact, one could argue, the film's even more relevant today in this age of celebrity-worship and apathetic, gutless American media who believe missing suburban wives are more pertinent and crucial to this nation's well-being than questioning facts and our leaders' motives for waging a needless, costly war.
The film's about the politics of country music, families, stardom, search for stardom, political manipulation and populist political candidates. The unseen presidential candidate's spiel in "Nashville" could easily have been sound bites from contemporary populists; he could be seen as the cinematic trend-setter for the Ross Perots, Jesse Venturas, Howard Deans and Ralph Naders.
The film is at once a political drama, musical and documentary all effortless woven together by a master storyteller, who truly is an American treasure. In "Nashville," Altman's overlapping dialogue works to perfection as he captures this panoramic view of five days in Nashville through the eyes of two-dozen characters.
With so many characters, it's Altman's genius that he keeps this an engrossing character study. Although he tosses aside all conventions of narrative storytelling, we get to know characters better in "Nashville" than we do in many contemporary dramas with fewer characters. There's Ronee Blakley's country singer; Lily Tomlin's doting housewife and mother; Scott Glenn's caring soldier; Keith Carradine's lecherous pop star; Ned Beatty's disinterested father; Keenan Wynn's loving husband; Michael Murphy's sleazy campaigner; and Gwen Welles' sad wannabe country singer, whose scene at a political fund-raiser is heartbreaking. And Jeff Goldblum's motorcyclist and Geraldine Chaplin's Opal are the threads that weave through all the lives in this marvelous tapestry.
There are plenty of terrific songs in "Nashville" - some might complain too many - but the best are Carradine's Oscar-winning "I'm Easy" and "It Don't Bother Me." They add to the nice sense of cynicism that layers the movie.
Altman's one of the big reasons the 1970s is regarded as the greatest decade of American filmmaking. Look at just a few of his contributions in that decade - "Nashville," "MASH" (1970), "Brewster McCloud" (1970), "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" (1971), "Images" (1972) and "The Long Goodbye" (1973). His films also influence other talented filmmakers, including Alan Rudolph (who worked on Altman films) and Paul Thomas Anderson, whose storytelling style - "Boogie Nights" (1997) and "Magnolia" (1999) - clearly is Altman-inspired.
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