A Prairie Home Companion
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From legendary director Robert Altman comes his final film, the deeply moving and comedic A Prairie Home Companion. Based on Garrison Keillor's wildly popular radio program of the same name, Altman invites audiences to the fictional "closing night" of the fabled show. As the rain pours down on a blustery Minnesota evening, the cast tapes their final performance, while waiting for the Texas businessman who has bought the theater to arrive and shut them down. Backstage the colorful ensemble says their goodbyes and confront old conflicts, while onstage a sold-out audience enjoys the wit and musical whimsy for which the show is famous. But when a mysterious woman appears offstage introducing herself as the angel Asphodel, it becomes apparent that this will be no ordinary closing night.]]>
- Commentary by director Robert Altman and actor Kevin Kline
- "Come Play With Us: A Feature Companion" featurette
- "Onstage at the Fitzgerald: A Music Companion" - extended musical performances and advertising segments
- Soundtrack preview (jump to songs in the film)
Top Customer Reviews
Garrison Keillor is not center stage so much as he's the imperturbable head guy who isn't always there, even when he's there. Most of the regular members of the radio show are present, as well as some new names. Lily Tomlin and Meryl Streep are incredibly authentic and incredibly funny/poignant as the two remaining members, Rhonda and Yolanda Johnson, of a country-music family singing group. Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly are great as the dim cowboys, Lefty and Dusty. Their bad-jokes song is one of the highlights. Guy Noir looking like Kevin Kline tries to keep a lid on the crises. Streep and Tomlin (and Harrelson and Reilly) sing their own stuff and they are first class. Tomlin, in particular, gives a terrific performance as Rhonda, tough, funny, a little bitter and a trooper.Read more ›
Altman captures Keillor's cosmos, but nowhere does it acquire the life-like authenticity of "Nashville," "The Player," or "Gosford Park." The ironies that Altman's camera normally exposes have already been attended to by another ironist of undeniable brilliance. This is Keillor country, ordered exactly as its creator writes, acts, narrates, and sings it. I've attended a broadcast of "Prairie Home Companion" and found it curiously distant and unengaging, my presence and that of the rest of the audience serving as props, or a bit of window dressing, for the purpose of establishing the show's credibility for a home audience. In fact, the entire premise of the movie is absurd--the last broadcast of a folksy variety radio show that was never more than a contrived simulation from the start. As a place, Nashville took itself seriously. By contrast, Keillor's "Prairie Home Companion" has the feeling of those small town renovations with anachronistic gas lanterns, pricey soda fountains and quaint antique shops.Read more ›
Turning the radio show into a movie was the task of director Robert Altman ("M*A*S*H," "Gosford Park"), known for his ability to elicit improvisational performances from his actors, create intriguing ensemble casts, and put his personal, inimitable stamp on his films. "A Prairie Home Companion" entered theatres like a whisper, rather than with the huge publicity push that accompanies most new movies. And that seems appropriate for such a low-key, gentle film. Like the radio show, the movie focuses on spirited entertainment but also gives us revealing glimpses of backstage relationships as the stars and technical crew discuss their personal lives, reminisce about their careers or simply allow us to savor their eccentric characters.
The premise of the movie is that "A Prairie Home Companion" is solely a local broadcast and this one is its last. A mixture of nostalgia, sentiment, steely show biz acceptance, and nonchalance pervades the wings of the theatre.
GK (Keillor) is the emcee and host of the show.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Love Garrison Keillor. He wrote it... and it is very much in his style of comedy.Published 6 days ago by Kat Vickers
Funny, emotional, even confusing at times. This is almost a B rated movie if it wasn't for the all-star cast but they pull it together and make it work. Read morePublished 1 month ago by DCA
A favorite. Surprised it was still available. Great picture and sound.Published 2 months ago by Charles Paine
For fans of the long-running radio show, this is a treat. A stellar cast, a lot of off-handed dialogue that makes you feel like you're really backstage among all these people... Read morePublished 2 months ago by R. MAY
For anyone who is a Prairie Home Companion radio show should hate this movie. The skits and the stories do not exist , and the show becomes an introduction to the music that is not... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Prof
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I loved this movie and am a huge fan of Garrison Keillor, but I am a bit worried that your post seems a bit elitist and snobby...
Dec 3, 2006 by L. Piatkowski | See all 4 posts