A Prairie Home Companion Robert Altman 2006 USAThe last broadcast of a live radio show, as seen onstage and backstage, through the eyes of the participants and a mysterious woman.Reductive, perhaps, but an initial point of reference: Altman's Nashville (1975), another multi-character musical had a lazy ending which brought everything together, whereas this is very succinct and satisfying, at once implicit and ambiguous; but whereas Nashville's three-hour duration gave an epic weight and allowed Altman to give a wealth and depth to each of his characters' personalities, because it is only two hours, A Prairie Home Companion is at times a little imbalanced. Another half-hour or so would have ironed its narrative out into a much more consistent rhythm and flow - and the writing and acting are both excellent enough to have made it quite watchable at a longer length. It's a brilliant film, though, full of laughs, full of wit, full of energy and colour and confidence, unfolding finally as a film driven by nostalgic characters caught up in a world slowly drowning in melancholy. Altman's camera is less casual, less roaming than his other films, but is riveting all the same - various pans and simultaneous zooms, difficult to describe but lovely to watch, bring us in and out of this conversation and that conversation.
I'm an ugly bag of mostly water born to be informed and the only one that knows me is Obi-Wan Kenobi.