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Nashville back to product details

Sublime Altman
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written by chaosmind January 24, 2006 - 9:25 PM PST
0 out of 1 members found this review helpful
This is one of the greatest and most idiosyncratic films ever made. A film-student's dream, this is probably not your best first introduction to Robert Altman, just as the Battleship Potemkin is probably not the best first movie for a film-student to see.

See The Player, then see Short Cuts. Well, isn't that pompous? Isn't that like saying you low-brows would be better off reading *about* John Cage or Frank Zappa then actually experiencing their work? Uh, yeah. Altman did really get nearly performance-art-type performances from his players... he always was about natural performances...

Nashville goes deeper... it really is about the human interactions. There's a serial-killer/we-all-kill-the-heroes-we-love theme here, and yes, its disturbing, but Altman has never been about easy answers...

It Don't Worry Me
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written by randomcha November 21, 2005 - 7:04 AM PST
2 out of 3 members found this review helpful
Seeing the film this time around, it suddenly occured to me how much "A Mighty Wind" appropriated "Nashville." In an affectionate, amusing way.

I love Barbara Harris and Karen Black, especially, but Henry Gibson is also very funny. Politically, this movie hasn't aged a day. It'd make a great (if quite long) double bill with "Network."

By the way, the commentary track by Altman is superb and well worth a listen.

Seeds of genius, but no flower yet...
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written by sfspaz January 20, 2004 - 1:20 PM PST
1 out of 2 members found this review helpful
Altman's auteur genius peeks through the clouds in this early film, but doesn't quite shine as brightly as some of his other notable works.

A talented ensemble cast (surprise) fills the movie with enough charming and insightful moments as to make the film worthwhile, but the film is plagued by the sense of never quite reaching fruition, even in the film's long-awaited climax.

The interweavings of his huge cast of characters is enough to keep the viewer engaged, but in contrast to some of his later films (Short Cuts, Gosford Park) the intensity and sense of vitality is not quite as prominent. Altman, of course, seems wholly unable to make a film without inspired moments, and despite its general meandering pace, this film is no exception. Lily Tomlin is fascinating as the emotionally torn but resilient housewife on the verge on an affair, Ronee Blakely is engaging as the country star only barely keeping things together, Shelley Duval shines as the girl in search of love, wherever she can find it, and Keith Carradine excellently captures the callous rock star encapable of thinking of anything but himself.

The lack of hard plot, while not a stumbling block in many of his other films, somehow weakens the strength of this film , not because it dims Altman's astute social observations and anecdotes, but because there's just not enough to keep the viewer deeply engaged in his characters. Musical numbers, as mentioned, crop up often, and despite being humorous and expository, tend to run on a bit longer than one would like.

Gorgeous and engaging, but probably one for the "pre-seminal work" category.


A brilliant movie, poorly executed
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written by kamapuaa October 13, 2003 - 8:11 PM PDT
I give this movie a 6 out of 10, and perhaps I should be more generous. This is one of the most intriguing movies I've rented from Greencine. However, as close as the movie was greatness, there were constant major failings.

Altman's technique is not to have a central plot, or commentary, but merely to show a group of characters, and let the happening speak for themselves. It requires the characters to be inherently interesting. However, almost all the performances were one-note. Lily Tomlin was excellent in her role, and the scene where she walks out on the rock star was a brilliantly raw study in character. However, there were too many sequences where one-adjective characters stand around talking to each other about inanities. Who cares?

I'm a music fan, although I must admit I'm not of the background that I've ever had a chance to listen to a country song. Still I think I can make an accurate assessment of the music (which occupies nearly half the film): It sucks, and drags the picture down. Not the genre, but rather the use of actors & backup vocalists as Nashville superstars. They're clearly overshadowed by the real musicians they share the stage with. If the songs had been brief it would be easy to ignore, but pointing the camera at Henry Gibson singing 3-song sets quickly becomes painful. It really is too bad, because I think grounding the movie in musical performances was an excellent idea, and the movie still does as good a job as any at showing a live-music scene.

I could nit-pick until the cows come home, but two other complaints would be that the political van device seemed like a rip-off of MASH, and was so naive that I believed it to be satire until listening to the DVD commentary. Also, that the powerful ending (made more relevant by the 80's) didn't deserve to have an ironic send-off.

I still think this movie is worth watching, but it's frustrating to see a brilliant movie so poorly executed.

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(Average 7.21)
276 Votes
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