A final live variety show broadcast via radio becomes a metaphor for the natural order of life. A concept and script by Garrison Keilor uses every natural and technical element of working with a tight and close ensemble producing a weekly show to sooth us and guide us through the natural but difficult transitions of aging, becoming less relevant and then dying as new, young life develops and strengthens during our final "performances." This is a rare film for it's remarkable cast and crew and one wonders how the great Robert Altman was able to gather them all at the same place and time to shoot this film.Written by
The group of four people sitting at the table in the diner react as if the Dangerous Woman is walking toward them (changing their facial expressions, changing their postures, moving their eyes, etc.), but in the next shot she has not moved from her position just inside the doorway. She then begins walking toward them. See more »
Market reports today, barrows and gilts uh two hundred twenty to two hundred sixty pounds, they're lower at forty dollars uh sows are steady three hundred five hundred pounds thirty four to thirty seven dollars going over to feeder cattle, beef steers - one hundred twenty to one hundred fifty dollars and two hundred to three hundred
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There is a credit for Sign Painter in the film, although it does not appear on the official site. See more »
Robert Altman's "A Prairie Home Companion" is light, fluffy and fun, much like the radio show. As long as audiences keep this in mind, they'll be sold like Rhubarb pie and duct tape advertised during the broadcast.
The outstandingly cast ensemble and Altman's signature directing style stitch a flowing patchwork of laughs and tinges of nostalgia. Streep and Tomlin are dynamic together (and sing beautifully!), and Kline carries much of the film's comedy on his capable shoulders. The film represents a bygone era that the people of the show are still living in. Only Virginia Madsen, Lindsay Lohan and Tommy Lee Jones represent the outsiders to the otherwise coherent culture of the show, and as the film progresses, affect it and are affected by it in different ways.
I generally prefer films, however comic or fun they are, to have some deeper themes. But unlike the multi-layered theater that most of the film takes place in, there's nothing really behind the scenes here- it's art for arts sake. However, I still enjoyed the film and am actually relieved it didn't bog down in anything too serious.
Whether audiences are fans of the radio show or not, the film's worth its weight in Narco Bran Flakes.
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