We went to see Robert Altman’s new film A Prairie Home Companion last night.
It was a fantastic movie, full of geniune charm and humor, as well as an interesting focus on death throughout (the radio station is being shut down, one character dies during the last show, Lindsay Lohan’s character writes poems about suicide…)
Of course A Prairie Home Companion is a real radio show that has been running for over 30 years, I believe (or "since Jesus was in 3rd grade" according to Kevin Kline’s character in the movie). Deb and I love the radio show, and loved the movie. We went with a couple friends who had never heard the radio show, and they loved the movie as well, so it appears this movie would appeal to fans and non-fans alike.
It’s classic Robert Altman, in that you never really feel like you’re watching a movie, it’s more like you’re inhabiting the world of the characters. An example of this: I always felt like clapping when they finished a song. It’s more like you’re part of the audience watching the live radio broadcast than watching a movie about a live radio broadcast. It’s also classic Robert Altman in that everyone kind of talks at once, ("Don’t wait for your lines" he always says), just like in real life, and there’s plenty of ad-libbing going on. It’s hilarious to listen in on Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin banter back and forth, and who knew Lindsay Lohan was such a genuinely good actress? I hope she gets more roles like this one in the future, and can perhaps leave her teeny-bopper days behind her.
There are a few crude jokes at the end that would be inappropriate for children, but all in all I highly recommend this movie.