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A Wedding (1978)

August 20, 2015

a wedding

Robert Altman brings his panoramic lens to a wedding joining two families. The bride is from old money and the groom is from new money. Neither family likes the other.

Both families have a lot of issues and we see them all. Family members come and go across the screen and even though there are about fifty, we come to know them all.

It’s not the myriad of characters that is confusing, it is the tone of the movie. The movie takes comedic, dramatic, and tragic turns and then turns again. The movie is unsettling and I think that is how Altman wants us to feel. Every family has is dramas, tragedies and comic situations. It is what makes us human. It is only the degree that is different.

The groom’s grandmother (Lillian Gish) dies, the bridgegroom has gotten his bride’s sister pregnant, the bride’s mother wants to have an affair, the groom’s mother is a drug addict … it just goes on and on.

Another really good, really different movie by Robert Altman.

Ready to Wear (1994)

October 27, 2012


Also known as Pret-a-Porter. this movie plays like a home movie focusing on the fashion industry. Even for an Altman movie this stands out as having little or no story.  Sophia Loren, Marcello Mastroianni, Kim Bassinger, Stephen Rea, Julia Roberts, Forrest Whitaker, Tim Robbins, Lauren Bacall, Lyle Lovett, Tracey Ulman, Teri Garr, Danny Aiello and a host of others pop in and out of bed and are barely connected by the story of a fashion show that is going on in Paris.

Kim Bassinger plays a reporter who interviews people  as they arrive at the show. Celebrities march on and off the stage. Tim Robbins and Julia Roberts meet by accident, drink. fight, makeup and have an affair. A murderer is running loose but the fashion world must go no.

So many beautiful scenes with the beautiful people, I can see why Altman had trouble cutting it down to the size it needed to be. Should have run at least an hour shorter.

If you watch this movie trying to follow the plot, you will probably be disappointed. If you watch it and just enjoy the scenes flashing by you will probably enjoy this interesting and well done movie.




Images (1972)

October 27, 2012

A movie that was filmed in Ireland. Susannah York plays Cathryn, a woman who is having some psychological problems. She receives a phone call telling her that her husband is having an affair. She begins to see images, which may or may not be real. Her husband, Hugh, takes her out to their house in the country to help her recover.

While her husband hunts and works around the house, Cathryn writes her children’s books and continues to see visions. Visions of a creepy friend of her husband, and an old lover begin popping up all over the house. What is real, and what is imagined. Cathryn just doesn’t know.

As the movie goes on Cathryn’s grip on reality becomes less and less.

A psychological thriller that has aspects of ghost stories and horror movies. Beautifully filmed and very well done

Brewster McCloud (1970)

September 25, 2010

Made the same year as MASH, Brewster McCloud had many of the same actors and the same irreverent tone. Although I liked this movie, I didn’t love it the way I loved MASH and many of Altman’s other movies.
The movie is wacky and pretty dark at the same time. It is a parody of crime murder mysteries and a commentary on society. Perhaps it tries to be too much, and doesn’t do anything really well.
Brewster McCloud is a quiet, withdrawn boy who lives below the Houston Astrodome in a fallout shelter . Brewster is constructing wings because he wants to be a bird His only link with society is a mysterious woman named Louise who has a bird perched on her shoulder.
I think this is a movie they may get better with each viewing so I am going to give it another chance in a couple of months.

The Company (2007)

September 11, 2010

Like most of Altman’s work : short on plot and characterization, but a wonderful slice of life about a dance company set in Chicago. An ensemble work, the characters just come in and out. The main character is Ry, played by Neve Campbell, who also wrote the story. 
The movie follows the trials and tribulations of Ry as she tries to become the featured dancer in her troupe. Malcolm McDowell is really good as the excitable, emotional, know-it-all ballet master.
The movie has some wonderful ballet scenes, and if you like ballet you will love this movie. If you hate ballet you will probably be using the fast forward button a lot while watching this.
I thought it was very well done. It almost like I was watching a documentary on a subject I wasn’t that interested in, but somehow I still really enjoyed it.

Gosford Park (2001)

December 8, 2009

A murder/mystery/comedy on an English estate that has some of the upstairs/downstairs elements reminisent of La règle du jeu (1939). Also like in The Rules of the Game the gathering is brought about because a social shoot is going to take place. We see the pheasants falling as the rich shoot them down and the workers and dogs gather them up.
Everything in the house was in order with the downstairs inhabitants mirroring the upstairs ones, even using the same names of the ones they are serving to avoid confusion. The order is broken when Sir William is murdered. He is poisoned and then he stabbed, probably by someone who didn’t know he was dead already. Sir William was not a very likeable fellow.
The police are called in to investigate. It seems that half the people present in the house had a reason to kill Sir William. The characters come in and out, as they do in so many of Altman’s movies. The movie is beautifully filmed and the English countryside living in the 1930’s in beautifully portrayed.
It’s hard to follow the story without a score card. Former lovers, current lovers, illegitimate son, secrets, upstairs, downstairs and two murder tries. It’s a movie that needs to be seen more than once to be appreciated and understood.
This was a great movie but to be honest it just wasn’t my cup of tea. I think I’ll go watch La règle du jeu again, instead.

Dr T and the Women (2000)

November 29, 2009

Dr. T is a successful doctor. It looks like he is a lucky man, but his wife Kate is going crazy. A psychiatrist explains she suffers from the “Hestia complex,” an illness that affects ” upper-class women who have pretty much all they want or need.” Because their lives are perfect they try to regain “the mystery” by regressing to a child-like state.
In the movie Richard Gere is surrounded by actresses Helen Hunt, Farrah Fawcett, Laura Dern, Shelley Long, Tara Reid , Kate Hudson , Liv Tyler and Lee Grant. He often seems lost and confused. When he is with his men friends he seems confident and successful.
Dr. T gets very friendly with the new assistant golf pro, Bree (Helen Hunt). He goes to her house for a barbecue. When they go upstairs I really don’t know where Altman was going with the movie. Dr. T is something of a creep and so is Bree. As the movie goes on Dr. T is completely overwhelmed by the women.
But maybe that is what Altman is trying to say here. He has already taken the glamor out of war (MASH), the West (McCabe and Mrs. Miller), the music industry (Nashville), Hollywood (The Player) and our legends (Buffalo Bill and the Indians). Here he is taking the glamor out of the lives of the rich. They’re not happy either. We are all a sad, miserable mess.
In one of the last scenes, in a variation of The Graduate, Dr. T’s daughter runs off the wedding altar and into the arms of her lesbian lover. Dr. T goes to Bree’s and tells her he wants to run away with her but Bree doesn’t love him.
The movie probably should have ended with the altar scene. I have no idea what Altman is saying with the last scene, except that Dr T has had enough of women. Misogynistic? I think so. Once again Altman is telling us how miserable life is only in this movie he is blaming it on women. Not one of my favorite Robert Altman movies but he is always interesting.

The Gingerbread Man (1998)

November 29, 2009

Based on an unpublished John Grisham novel, this is the story of a lawyer Rick Magruder (played by Kenneth Branagh), who meets a girl at a party and goes home with her. When he finds out her father is giving her a hard time he gets involved to try to help her.
It turns out that the father, Dixon Doss (played by Robert Duvall) is crazy. The plot thickens as Doss is put in to a mental hospital, bur he escapes. He may have kidnapped Magruder’s kids. When Magruder confronts him they both shoot and Doss is killed.
Magruder is now in trouble. He may go to jail. He may get dis-barred. He may lose visitation rights to his kids. As the story unfolds it looks like Magruder has been set up. The trees on Doss’ land may be worth over 10 million dollars as lumber. It looks like Mallory Doss is going to be rich now that her father is dead. Rick figures out that Mallory has conspired with her husband (who he thought she had divorced) to use him to get rid of the father.
The man’s life slowly descends into hell. Everyone is turning against him. He just figures out the scheme too late. In the end Rick turns the tables on Mallory and he turns out on top.
Overall the movie was just OK. It should have decided whether it wanted to be noir or an action movie. It was noir for the most part but then it turned Hollywood. It should have been better.

Short Cuts (1993)

November 27, 2009

The film is based on the short stories by late American writer Raymond Carver. The story revolves in short cuts between nine vignettes in which we are introduced to few dozen characters. All of those characters are faced with variety of problems. A couple’s child gets hit by a car. A couple is always fighting and one of them hits a child with her car. A couple breaks up and one is having an affair with a married policeman. A police officer’s wife hangs around with the unhappy wife of a doctor. A husband is unhappy with his wife’s job as a phone sex operator. Guys on a fishing trip find a dead body in the water but leave there while they go on fishing – why ruin the trip?
Anticipating the movie Best Picture winner Crash, made eleven years later, this movie is probably better. People in one story briefly bump or crash into the lives of people in another story. Sometimes the cuts are only on the screen for thirty seconds before we flip to another story. In the hands of anyone else this would probably be a mess. In Altman’s hands it turned out to be a gem.
Each story is interesting and well done. In each one you are anxious to see what happens. You are left anticipating the continued story of eight others while you are watching the one currently on the screen.
It doesn’t seem like this is a movie that could work but it does. It also doesn’t seem that at 187 minutes it could sustain your interest but it does. As a matter of fact the movie goes by very quickly. It is actually like watching nine short movies.
The stories are not happy. Each one is its own mini or major tragedy. People are constantly doing things to hurt the ones they love. Some people don’t deserve the pain they receive, others do. Why? there are no answers. It just happens. Robert Altman didn’t present a Capresque view of the world, his view was much darker. We live, we suffer and then an earthquake hits. We are all prisoners of life.

The Player (1992)

November 25, 2009

Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins) is a hot young producer who everyone is pitching ideas to. A movie about a planet with two suns, a sequel to The Graduate, Goldie Goes to Africa, everyone has a great idea.
This a Hollywood insiders movie with hundreds of lines and inside jokes. It name drops everyone – Martin Scorsese, Julia Roberts, Bruce Willis, Mel Gibson. There are dozens of real stars walking through with cameos. the background dialogues these people are having are wonderful.
Giffin starts getting messages from someone. “I told you my idea and you said you’d get back to me. Well?” was a message on the back of postcard featuring Humphrey Bogart pointing a gun. Eerie music keeps playing in the background.
Griffin finds out that he is in trouble at work. He might be replaced. He is suddenly under a lot of pressure. There is a new player, Larry Levy, being brought on board. At the same time the messages turn into threats.
Using some detective skills Griffin tracks down who he thinks the man threatening him, David Kahane, and goes to find him a theatre showing The Bicycle Thief. He meets him and they go out for a drink. They get into a fight and he accidently kills Kahane.
Griffin gets a message from “Joe Gillis”, who is the character from Sunset Boulevard and he wants to me Griffin. It looks like Kahane was not the one sending the messages. He goes to meet him but misses him but gets a note telling him to look under his coat. There is a rattlesnake there.
The police begin closing in on Griffin. They have a line up but the witness picks a detective out of the line up.
Flash forward one year later – they are viewing the movie that was to be made with no stars but there is Julia Roberts, Peter Falk, Susan Sarandon. And you know that she is going to be rescued at the end. And she is – by Bruce Willis.
Altman has wrapped Griffin in a little dramatic love story, just like the ones Griffin is constantly being pitched, inside of his valentine to the cinema. Tremendously entertaining. A wonderful movie.

Thieves Like Us (1974)

November 17, 2009

“Bowie, this bank is a bird’s nest on the ground. We get 50,000 or not a dime”

Thieves Like Us is like two movies in one. The first half of the movie is about three cons that break out of jail in 1936 and then are on the run from the law. They start robbing banks while on the run. The second half of the movie has Bowie (Keith Carradine) hooking up with Keechie (Shelley Duvall) and it turns into a love story.
As President Roosevelt talks in the background about the Depression, the three pals rob a bank. They shoot and kill without hesitating, with no regrets. They really don’t know how to do anything else.
Bowie hears on the radio that one of his partners, T-Dub, has been shot and killed by the police and his other partner, Chicamaw, has been captured.
Keechie is not happy that Bowie had chosen to go with the guys instead of staying with her, but now they are together again. They head to T-Dub’s in-law Mattie’s place (who is played by a Nurse Ratched-like Louise Fletcher).
Bowie breaks Chicamaw out of jail, who promptly murders the warden. And Chicamaw isn’t happy. He starts running Bowie down, telling him that he gets all the publicity and it’s all luck. Instead of being happy that he is free, he is angry that Bowie has pulled off another great caper. Bowie hears enough and forces Chicamaw out of the car and leaves him.
When Bowie comes back to Mattie’s, who has betrayed him, we don’t even feel sorry as he is gunned down in front of Keechie by the waiting officers. Somehow, we know her and her expectant child will be better off.
This movie doesn’t make heroes of its stars. They are cold-blooded vicious killers. Chicamaw shot a 63-year-old man, two years away from his pension. The movie doesn’t tell us why they are doing what they are doing, except that they are greedy. Altman gives us a good view of Mississippi during the Depression. A slow-moving, depressing, fascinating look at a different time. Altman has stripped the myth from the gangster movie, just like he stripped the myths from the Western in McCabe and Mrs. Miller and from the war film in MASH. Bowie doesn’t go out in a blaze of glory. His body is carried out, covered in a blanket, and left in the mud. There will be no baby named after him.
Another great Altman movie, well worth seeing.

McCabe & Mrs. Miller (1971)

November 8, 2009
mccabe2Robert Altman tackles the Western and produces a masterpiece. Like Clint Eastwood would do with Unforgiven (1992) twenty years later, Altman gives us a view of what the Old West was really like. Unlike Eastwood he continued showing us that vision right through the end of the movie, which is probably why this isn’t as popular as Unforgiven, though it should be.
The movie stars two great actors, Warren Beatty and Julie Christie, and they were both great in this.
When a company offers to buy McCabe’s holdings he turns them down. But Altman doesn’t feel the West was won by heroic characters, it was developed by economic forces from the back east and the motive was money. In fact the driving force behind everything in this movie is money, even the love interest.
Altman takes a lot of shots at the standard Western genre. It isn’t bright and festive in the bar, it is dark and depressing. Romance is a cash on the barrel only proposition. A Billy the Kid like character murders Cowboy on the bridge. The gunfighters don’t strap on holsters and face each other on the main street, it’s more like a hunt. McCabe shoots one of his would be assassins through a window. Not many directors would be brave enough to leave one title character dead and frozen in the snow and the other in the haze of an opium den.
Once again Altman creates a tremendously entertaining movie with very little plot. There really wasn’t much going on in the story at all. Altman was just showing us how people lived, and it was fascinating. Great movie.

California Split (1974)

October 31, 2009


I think this is one of the best of all the buddy movies. George Segal and Elliot Gould were both tremendous in this. It is also one of the best gambling movies ever made.
The Seven Dwarf Scene in the beginning is enough to make the movie worth seeing.
“Twenty dollars says you can’t name the Seven Dwarfs”

“OK. I know I can name three or four of them.”
“That’s one”
“That’s Two”
“There’s no Snoopy”
“There ain’t no Snoopy”
“I know there’s Doc, there’s Dopey, there’s Grumpy, there’s um…’
“You don’t have twenty dollars”
“Wait a second I have twenty dollars right here. I need a little help here. There’s ..”
“Here comes seven like a Gatling gun. ”
“OK. The Seven Dwarfs. I’m ready.”
“Sleepy, Grumpy, Doc ..”
“That’s four”
“That’s Three”
“Oh. I’m with you”
“OK Wait a second now there’s Sleepy, Grumpy, Doc”
“There’s Sleepy, Grumpy, Dopey”
“I got Dumbo”
“There’s no Dumbo”
“Dumbo wasn’t in that cast”
“No Dumbo”
“Dumbo flew”
“Then we both lose”

There were some interesting scenes about gamblers. Charlie wouldn’t change seats on the bus to the track with a lady because he thought it would be bad luck. Charlie bets his shirt against a guy’s hat on a boxing match. Charlie gets held up at gun point but negotiates to only give the robber half. He tells him to take the money and run and the robber does. There is a scene where Charlie hustles some kids at the basketball courts that could have been the inspiration for White Men Can’t Jump. Everything is a bet.
There is a great scene with Bill on the piano followed by a great scene with Bert Remson as the cross dressing Helen. Bill and Charlie then come in pretending to be vice cops. Great stuff.
Bill is in trouble with the bookies and the boys decide to take one last shot in Reno. Selling ever thing they have, off they go. The casino scenes are tremendous. Charlie walks around chatting everyone up while Bill gambles. Altman doesn’t care if we can’t make out the dialogue which makes it seem all the more real.
This movie works so well as both a comedy and drama. It never feels choppy. It’s like MASH. From pure comedy to pure tragedy and it’s done so smoothly. I have to admit that I don’t usually like movies that don’t know if they are comedies or drama. It is so hard to do that most directors that try it just can’t pull it off. I think Altman does it better than anyone. Worked great here, and in Nashville and in MASH.
Eliot Gould made three great movies with Altman. MASH in 1970, The Long Goodbye in 1973 and this movie in 1974.
I really enjoy California Split, like all great movies, it just gets better with age.

Cookie’s Fortune (1999)

October 30, 2009


The movie opens with Camille Dixon (Glen Close) directing an amateur play, starring her sister Cora, and Willis Richland (Charles Dutton) getting drunk and then going over and cleaning Cookie’s collection of guns. Cookie misses her late husband and uses one of her gun’s to join him. Then all hell breaks loose.
Camille sees her aunt’s suicide as a possible disgrace for the family. Camille and Cora make it look as if there was a break in and a murder. Willis has fingerprints on th gun so he becomes a suspect. Emma, played by Liv Tyler, is outraged that Willis was arrested for the arrest of her great-aunt.
Sheriff Lester Boyle (Ned Beatty) is sure that Willis is innocent, because they fish together. When they find Camille’s blood (AB negative) at the scene of the crime, and she is taken in. Cookie leaves her fortune to her husband’s nephew Willis and Emma is thrilled to find out they are related.
Then Emma finds out that Camille is not her aunt, she is her mother. Cora’s ex-husband had got Camille pregnant. The sisters covered up the pregnancy and birth to protect the families’ name.
Cora tells the police that Cookie had been murdered. She seems to be getting her revenge on Cora, who had caused her to lose her husband and end up an old maid. Cora seems to go crazy in her cell. The slow-paced movie ends with the guys fishing at the pond.
I thought the movie was decent but it didn’t really work as either a drams or a comedy. To me it was one of those movies that couldn’t make up its mind as to what it wanted to be, and as a result it was mediocre.

The Long Goodbye (1973)

October 25, 2009


Elliot Gould plays Philip Marlowe in this adaption of Raymond Chandler’s novel. Marlowe voice sounds like it is always in voice-over mode, whether he is talking to himself or to other people. The movie starts with Marlowe’s cat waking him up in the middle of the night because he wants to be fed. Marlowe is beat up and disheveled but he does put on his tie when he goes out for cat food.
Marlowe drives in a 40’s car and wears a dark 40’s suit. He lights up a cigarette every chance he gets, and he is the only one smoking. But he is not in the 40’s he is in the 1970’s and times have changed from Chandler’s day.
Marlowe’s friend, Terry Lennox played by Jim Bouton, comes over. He has had a fight with his wife and needs a ride to Tijuana. The next day Marlowe gets pulled in by the police. It seems that Terry’s wife has ended up dead. While he is in prison Terry end up dead, and Marlowe is released. Marlowe reads a newspaper article about how Terry killed himself and left a full confession.
Marlowe takes on a case to search for a missing husband, writer Roger Wade (played by Sterling Hayden). He finds him ain a mental hospital. Dr. Verringer, played by Henry Gibson, has him all drugged up but Marlowe takes him home.
Next gangster Marty Augustine stops by to visit. Elliot Gould continues his wise guy routine (it was at this part of the movie that I realized he was playing the same role he played the previous year in MASH). Marty says, talking of Marlowe’s dead friend Terry : A minor crime, a misdemeanor, to kill your wife. The major crime is, he stole my money. Your friend stole my money. And the penalty for that is capital punishment.” Marty thinks Marlowe has the money Terry was carrying for him. Marty then tells his girlfriend, that except for his family, she is the most important person in the world to him. Then he breaks a Coke bottle across her face. The Marty says to Marlowe “That’s someone I love. And you, I don’t even like. You have an assignment, Cheapie…find my money.”
Marlowe goes to Mexico to investigate Terry’s death, because he still has Marty’s threats hanging over his head, but he doesn’t find anything. Marlowe discusses with Mrs. Wade the possibility that Roger had been having an affair with the late Mrs. Lennox. Then Roger tries to drown himself and Marlowe tries to save him but has no luck. Mrs. Wade admits that her husband had been having an affair with Mrs. Lennox. She also thinks he may have killed her. Marlowe thinks the cops and Dr. Verringer are in on a cover-up. The money Wade paid Verringer was for an alibi as to where he was at the time of the murder.
Marty Augustine brings Marlowe in again , he wants his money. Marlowe sees the girl with the broken face. Marty wants everyone in the room to take off all of their clothes so he can belive what Marlowe is telling him. Arnold Schwarzenegger is one of the hoods undressing. It is a truly bizarre scene but just then one of the hoods walked in – someone had brought Marty’s money back.
In the last scene of the movie Marlowe sees Mrs. Wade in her car and starts chasing her. As Marlowe runs out into the traffic Mrs. Wade’s car hits another and Marlowe gets hit too. Her licence plate says “LOV YOU’. The “Long Goodbye” song comes on again, this time we know it means death (I think if I look back I will see it always was played when someone was dying – like the orange in The Godfather.) But Marlowe doesn’t die. He is taken to the hospital and later walks out and searches for Mrs, Wade with no luck. He heads back down to Mexico The Mexican police admit that Terry’s suicide was a fake and Marlowe finds his friend, who is living with Mrs. Wade. Terry admits that he killed his wife and used Marlowe. The goofy, care-free Marlowe we have seen all through the movie disappears. as he pulls out a gun and kills his former friend. In the 1940’s you couldn’t treat your friends the way Terry treated Marlowe, and Marlowe reacted the only way he could,
Great movie.


Some of the cinema references : 

In the opening scene a guard does an impersonation of Phyllis Dietrichson from Double Indemnity.   

When Marlowe is driving down the street he calls a dog Astor (from the Thin Man series) as he tells it to get out of the way.

In the hospital there is a patient wrapped head to foot like the Mummy : Marlowe says “I’ve seen all your movies.”

A Pairie Home Companion (2006)

October 15, 2009
prairieThis movie had a lot in common with Nashville, particularly having great music, some of which was sung by amateur singers. Meryl Streep really surprised me, as  Keith Carradine had done in Nashville, with how good she was. Lilly Tomlin still can’t sing but she is again entertaining. Garrison Keillor is obviously an excellent entertainer and it shows through in the movie. Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly were excellent as a country singing duo. Their song skit about bad jokes was great. Don’t get me wrong, this movie wasn’t on the same level as Nashville, but it was still pretty good.
Kevin Kline, Lindsay Lohan and Tommy Lee Jones also wander around the movie screen, but are largely wasted. Between songs and commercials performed on stage there is a story about an Angel of Death, a beautiful blonde in a white trench coat, who has come to collect one of the performers.
The best part of the movie were the musical numbers on stage with the sound effect guy, back up singers and G.K.  Meryl Streep and Lilly Tomlin were pretty good as country singing sisters. Meryl may have over acted a bit.
The movie ends with the Angel of Death coming in to a diner where the performers are planning a reunion tour. I like to think, but I don’t know for sure, that Robert Altman had the Angel coming for him. He died soon after this movie was completed. Not a bad way to end a great career.

MASH (1970)

October 13, 2009
mashMASH is a great representative movie for 1970. Anti-authoritarian, anti-war, anti-religion, anti-everything – it really captures the times.
Major Frank Burns and Major “Hot Lips” Houlihan serve as the target for Altman as he lampoons the creators and supporters of the Viet Nam war. He set his movie during th Korean war, but is the Viet Nam war that he really has in his sites.
One really effective method that Altman used was to switch between gruesome surgical scenes, which really showed the costs of the war, and then back to some heavy comic relief. Altman was able to show war as it really was, but he needed to balance it with a very high level of humor to make the movie palatable to the general public
I think that it is strange that it is a comedy that, perhaps, gives us the most realistic version of what war is really about. It’s not so much about heroes running through the enemy line with their guns blazing, as it is about the casualties on the operating tables when the battle is over. Altman does a great job of entertaining us and telling us the truth at the same time.

Nashville (1975)

October 12, 2009


The first five minutes of Nashville, which happens while the credits are still rolling, show us the strengths of the movie. Lilly Tomlin can’t sing at all and Henry Gibson can only sing a little bit, but Altman lets them try and they are a lot of fun to watch. I usually don’t like movies that have multiple characters and story lines. In general, I like to be drawn into a narrative. Nashville has at least ten characters with ten story lines going on, but it isn’t hard to follow. All the stories are loosely tied together but they can all also stand alone.
The acting was great. Keith Carradine as a sleazy singer, Ronee Blakley as a troubled Lorretta Lynn type, Lilly Tomlin as a Gospel singer who strays and Henry Gibson as an arrogant country singing star were particularly great. The music was also tremendous, although much of it was sung by amateurs. Keith Carradine scene singing “I’m Easy” is one of my favorite musical scenes in the movies.
Keith Carradine is a really despicable, insecure character. As he makes love to his women he listens to tapes of his own music. After he conquers Lilly Tomlin’s character he immediately calls another girl when she has to leave. Fame doesn’t necessarily bring happiness in Nashville, which may the moral of this tale.
The movie is 159 minutes long but it doesn’t drag for a second. Time just flies by watching this movie and it gets better with each viewing. The ending doesn’t really fit in with the rest of the movie, even though it is trying to tie all the strands together. But still a great, great movie.