A Prairie Home Companion

2006

Comedy / Drama / Music / Musical

5
Rotten Tomatoes Critics - Certified Fresh 82%
Rotten Tomatoes Audience - Spilled 59%
IMDb Rating 6.8 10 20681

Synopsis


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Director

Cast

Lindsay Lohan as Lola Johnson
Meryl Streep as Yolanda Johnson
Virginia Madsen as Dangerous Woman
720p.WEB 1080p.WEB
883.53 MB
1280*544
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
1hr 45 min
P/S 2 / 12
1.67 GB
1920*816
English
PG-13
23.976 fps
1hr 45 min
P/S 7 / 18

Movie Reviews

Reviewed by A.W Richmond 10 / 10

A Joyful Film About Death

As usual Altman will divide his audience in a radical way. He, clearly, doesn't do it on purpose but it happens more often than not with the works of real artists where there is no room (or very little) for concessions. It is what it is, his vision, his whole. He mentioned that the film was about death and found that not everyone agreed not even some of his closest and more devoted collaborators. That's what he saw, that's what it is but it's bound to be contradicted by critics and audiences alike. Personally, I don't think I'll see a better film this year. The work of an idiosyncratic artist and masterful craftsman doesn't hit the main stream screens every day of the week. My only reservation is that the film is too short. I wanted to go on and on and on. To say that Meryl Streep is sublime seems kind of redundant but never mind, she is, sublime, surprising, funny, very funny, moving, very, very moving. Lily Tomlin and Meryl have the best moments in the film. They appear, look and sound as if they had been working together all their lives. Total chemistry. Lindsay Lohan is the biggest surprise. Good for her. That's the way to forge a way ahead. Work with the best. Woody Harrelson and John C Reilly are simply glorious. Kevin Kline does a Kevin Kline in the most enchanting way. It was also a delight to see Garrison Keillor himself playing himself, not just wonderfully but very convincingly as well. I recommend it with all my heart.

Reviewed by D. Bruce Brown 9 / 10

An acquired taste, but I think I acquired it before I was born

Altman has created the anti-Hollywood, which I'm sure was not by accident. A true gem.

It's a shame that this was not a more commercially successful vehicle. The ensemble cast is superb, without exception. Garrison Keillor has a face made for radio, but I understand why he has to play himself. Nice baritone, but those are weapons-grade eyebrows.

Altman pokes fun at standard 21st century American movie fare, but mid-20th century radio gets lampooned pretty well too. The eponymous radio show, the state of Minnesota, and mindless belief all takes it in the slats. Even irony itself is not safe from Altman's watchful eye. It's deliciously subtle and, by starts, wonderfully bawdy. Paying attention pays dividends. Doing subtle right takes a lot of work.

One of the sweet surprises is that people you knew could act can also sing: Merryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Woody Harrelson (not a typo), Lindsey Lohan, and John C. Reilly croon. Where else could they strut such stuff? Underplaying their roles, never stealing a scene, letting the well-written script be the star. Kevin Kline was never better, not even in "Wanda". Al Gore's old roommate is heartlessly evil.

I'm glad I watched it alone because I felt free to laugh out loud. That would have been out of character with the movie.

It's unlikely you would only like this movie. You'll love it or run the other way. I didn't want it to end.

Don't look for a sequel.

Reviewed by britishdominion 9 / 10

Lake Wobigon Daze

A gentle piffle, "A Prairie Home Companion" is the Summer's most lovely find - a movie that is easy on the ears and seemingly made of sheary, impossible gossamer that would spindle or crush under a more heavy-handed production.

The impressive cast seems to be having a whole lot of fun - Meryl Streep, Kevin Kline, Lily Tomlin, Woody Harrelson, Lindsay Lohan, LQ Jones et al all have perfunctory if labored singing voices, but it is scripter Garrison Keillor that is the thread that stitches this one together so well. The result is an infectious, genial collection of characters and occasions whose easy charms stay with the viewer days after the film finally unspools its last credit.

Although I have never heard a PHC performance before, the film plays as a tribute to the old days of radio shows and more over, a loving though chilly valentine to the radio days of old. Anyone old enough though not near an NPR station might not know the show but most certainly can hum the tune.

Keillor, he with an alien-like E.T. observation of the goings-on at the final performance of his 30+ year-old live radio show, has a wonderful announcer voice and an above average singing voice that anchors the honest, down home corn-pone credibility of the film. He is a cypher through the picture - a guy you could listen to for hours chat about his exploits, introduce faux commercials and sing a song about nothing in particular. GK has such an ethereal presence that you look at him with such amazement because a "regular" joe like he earns such a shorthand with his audience and can stand toe to toe with aplomb next to Oscar winners like Kline and Streep. It's a great, understated performance.

The movie, directed by the legendary Robert Altman, has such a light touch that it's hard to not fall easily into it's flow. It's dreamy, slight and surreal, yet sets up its universe that is vaguely of today - but what world still has an actual radio show broadcast across the nation so detailed and entertaining as this? Altman and Keillor do the amazing - they deny the audience of any cheap emotion and pathos or short cuts to pay off the scenario. As much as this movie is about the wistful honor and simple entertainment of such a radio programs that used to rule the airwaves in the 1930s through the 1950s, both writer and director refuse to pander to suspected emotional payoffs or happy endings that lesser film creators might. This is a cold, simple and honest movie about the last kick at the can of a venerable institution, and as they choreograph it: so what? Every show, as Keillor says in the film, is the last show. Big deal.

Despite it's frigid demeanor, "A Prairie Home Companion" is filled with warm, quiet moments that offers each cast member has a shining, sterling moment of performance - though none takes centre stage and overpowers or overacts. If anyone goes swinging for the balconies, its Altman regular Tomlin, who creates such a wonderful counterbalance to Streep's simple, honest Minnesotan singing sister partner that she stands as the picture's meta heart - a desperate, hardened yet proud woman backed into a career corner who doesn't know what to do after her regular job is prematurely retired by big radio business. Tomlin deserves an Oscar.

For a film that is steeped in a sentimentality that no longer exists, Altman keeps his sharpened artist eye wandering the set for the most interesting player in the room instead of mourning the sad gone before. There's no release in the movie, no eulogy for the past. "A Prairie Home Companion" is a straight-forward document of what was, not what could have been or what will be.

The director's brilliance is that his lens cares about what technical and bits of business that come to affect in the making of the final show which really tell the story - of a group of people who spend their Saturday nights singing songs, telling stories and transmitting their folksy well-wishes to an imaginary audience listening in on their bedside table radio. In the movie, Altman and Keillor let their staged audience seated in the cavernous Fitzgerald Theater in Minneapolis or those sitting in shoebox movie theater in Anywhere, USA fill in the relevance.

One of the best movies of the year.

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