Saturday, July 01, 2006

Altman's A Prairie Home Companion

It was the perfect wife and I were to only one's in the theater watching Robert Altman's film, A Prairie Home Companion.

My wife and I laughted a fair amount, especially with the permission the empty theater allowed.

Ben Witherington has an excellent post on his blog that reviews the film along with some of his personal thoughts: A Prairie Home Companion-- A Eulogy to Things Dying from the Heartland.

With the movie being all about death I was sort of surprised they didn't work an Emily Dickinson poem in with all the references to death.

The cast was, of course, excellent and the movie relatively plot-less but theme & dialogue full.

When I discovered Lindsay Lohan was in the cast I wrote the post: "That's weird" or What I thought When I saw Lindsay Lohan in the A Prairie Home Companion Preview. Lohan did a good job...but she certainly was no June Carter, if you know what I mean.

(Christopher Campbell in talking about Running With Scissors recently claimed that Evan Rachel Wood would win an academy award in her lifetime, perhaps in the next decade. And also that she could be effective in any of the roles going to the likes of Kristin Dunst, LINDSAY LOHAN, Kate Bosworth, and Bryce Dallas Howard. And in response, yea, I bet Evan Rachel Wood would have done really well at this part...I wonder if she can sing?)

In conclusion a couple lines from the songs of A Prairie Home Companion that made it into the film:

"Goodbye to my Mama, my uncles and aunts,
One after another they went to lie down.
In the green pastures beside the still waters
And make no sound.
Their arms that held me for so many years,
Their beautiful voices no longer I'll hear,
They're in Jesus' arms and
He's talking to them
In the rapturous new Jerusalem."
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Jim Jannotti said...

I had planned on seeing that this week, but all my free time got eaten up by other stuff. Can't wait to see it!

I got to see the show live a few years ago... astounding.

Anonymous said...

I'm guessing you might have come upon my blog from Witherington's blog, and the link I made there to my post about PHC, but here it is, anyways.

Please tell others about my Pragmatic Prolife Manifesto...

Unknown said...

i have not seen the movie yet. it is difficult for me to attend anything at one of the cine-one-too-manys. i wanted to say altman is my favorite american director. EVEN with lindsay lohan, i do plan on seeing it. \

once in a universe in a time long long ago, i too was in a theater with no one else there. the movie? harry and tonto. one of my favorites!

Unknown said...

It sounds great, I may have to check this one out, I love good movies.

Anonymous said...

This has nothing to do with Lohan or Prairie Home...

James Marsden: The Other Man?

I'm glad James Marsden has been able to restart his career, but he's getting casted too often as the other man. Such as in: X-Men, The Notebook, and now Superman Returns. He's with the girl, but her heart belongs to another and he knows it. He's always the "good man" and safe for the woman to stay with. Will he ever be the leading man or should he just be happy he has a job?

Sher said...

So, is this one worth checking out in the theater, or should we wait for the DVD to come out?

Jon said...

Andrea has a good point. Marsden does seem to play the other guy a lot. I saw Superman this weekend, and he did a great job in the role, but because of the nature of his role, it didn't really have a lot of depth. I wonder what he'd like to do...

RC said...

Sheri...i don't know what to tell you...I enjoyed seeing it in the theater, and would have not neccesarily enjoyed it as much on DVD...

but it's hard to say if you would or would not like it...Altman movies are the type that some people really like them b/c they unique and abstract with out definite plot, etc...and some people that just drives crazy.

I'm not sure wether you'd like it or not?

All I know is that it's not a "big group" movie b/c in a group of 6 people you'll probably have at least 3 people who hate it, and 1 who really loves it.

Andrea & Jonathan...I think you're on to something w/ the Marsden thing...might be something worth revisiting.

Darrell said...

My wife and I both suffer from an Altman-deficiency. It seems that everyone in the world falls at his feet as the greatest director ever, but his movies put me into a drooling coma. Only "The Player" and "Shortcuts" have been able to hold my attention long enough to get through to the closing credits, and my response to both of them was "Eeehh." On top of that, my take on "Prairie Home Companion" and Garrison Kealor in general is that it's all such an affected, contrived, pretentious sham. It ammounts to educated people putting on a faux "down-home" show to make some sort of vague statement about... well, about how cool and perceptive they are, I suppose. Nonetheless, I'm willing to accept the judgment of practically everyone else in the free world: Altman is a genius, PHC is brilliant, and Wendy and I are lunkheads who just don't get it.

JW said...


Have you ever seen Nashville, MASH, or McCabe and Mrs. Miller?

All three are my favorite films of their respective years, actually. I also liked the Player and Short Cuts (not my favorite of those years). The rest can be pretty much hit and miss. Like The Company was pretty, well, terrible, if you ask me. But I did like A Prairie Home Companion.

RC said...

JW, I am surprised you didn't mention Gosford Park. That is my favorite Altman picture. Have you seen it? What's your thought.

Darrell said...

Gosford Park literally bored me to sleep. Literally. Honest to God, midway through that film I got down in the floor and went soundly to sleep. I expected to love it because there are so many actors that I love in that movie. Stephen Fry, Maggie Smith, Emily Watson, Richard Grant, etc, etc... and I've never in my life reacted with less interest or passion to a movie than I did Gosford Park.

MASH bored me, too. Honestly. I couldn't figure out why I was supposed to care about the characters.

Nashville... I thought that the first half was OK, but that the second nine-hour segment of the movie dragged on forever.

I haven't seen McCabe and Mrs. Miller.

Again, let me emphasize, in all seriousness, that I am willing to accept that this is all MY problem. THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH ME. Altman is apparently some sort of pseudo-god and I just don't get it. I was born without the Altman gene or something. I mean, 50 million people who praise Altman CAN'T be wrong... it's just that I don't get it.

Kimberly Ann said...

My husband warned me that Altman has weakly plotted movies, but it still took me a good 20-30 min. to really get in to watching Prairie Home Companion...then I laughed a lot b/c some of the characters, songs and dialouge are ridiclously funny. I will note that we were the only ones in the theater on a Friday night...