Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Early Reviews On Altman's Latest

Variety and The Hollywood Reporter both weigh in on Robert Altman's new film A Prairie Home Companion...and both of them are very positive, if not ecstatic. Oddly, neither one questions the rather strange framing device for the film which turns what could be a fine look at an old-timey radio show's last broadcast into a bizarre spin on Wim Wenders' Wings of Desire. I found that forced melodrama thoroughly distracting and ruinous for a movie that gets serious pleasure from tiny details, like the look Meryl Streep sends at Garrison Keillor when he disappears off stage after introducing her act. I could have also done without the forced moment where Streep's daughter is dragooned into making her debut to fill six minutes of air time. The stage is crowded with talent and they need to ask an untested teenager to sing a song? Hardly. A technical note: the film was shot on HD and I saw it projected that way. It was amazingly detailed; you felt like you could step into the scene.

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