Wednesday, April 12, 2006
Robert Altman's newest film "A Prairie Home Companion" is a tribute to the long running live radio show "A Prairie Home Companion" on Public Radio. Most people who listen to public radio will recognize that unique humorous voice of Garrison Keillor, who also wrote this film. I remember I used to listen to his show when I was driving to the swimming pool every Sunday when I lived in North Carolina.
Much of the film is actually set at the radio show, but adds a few fictional characters that don't exist in the radio show. Contrary to the reality, the theatre that hosts the radio show is bought by some guy from Texas "who talks funny." Tonight's performance will be the last show. So, we follow the camera to witness the happenings both on the front and the back stage.
I love Robert Altman's style by letting his cameras (three of them at any given time shooting this film) sitting quietly to observe their surroundings. Everybody is talking simultaneously, like in "Gosford Park."
The ensemble cast are fantastic in this film, as well as the witty humorous one-liners.
However, I don't quite care about the detective and angle characters in the plot. I think it would be just a blast by showing those performer's interactions and listen to their music. The detective and the angle are more distracting than making the film more interesting, and they slow down the pace of the film a lot.
My rating: 7 out of 10.