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goodfellamike's Movie Reviews (745)

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A Prairie Home Companion 
Altman's joyous swan song
4/4 stars

A wonderful, easygoing little comedy from Robert Altman, whose ever-roving camera and overlapping dialogue fit perfectly amidst the members of a radio performance group on the program's final night on the air. Altman, in all his pleasantries, creates a medley of philosophy, intrigue, pratfalls and some good old fashioned music (mostly sung by the likes of Lily Tomlin, Woody Harrelson, Lindsay Lohan, John C. Reilly and Meryl Streep) in Hollywood karaoke style. Kevin Kline is wildly amusing playing the kind of private detective Humphrey Bogart played in the 1940's, though with more comedic flourish. Garrison Keillor (truly a comic presence) with his suspenders and looking like a giant thumb with his hangdog features, who is the grandmaster of the proceedings (and helmer of the screenplay) carries the final performance without the inevitable whimsy or nostalgia that accompanies such beloved forms of canceled media, but rather with his subtle world-weary wisdom and cache of endless and pointless anecdotes. We meet the Angel of Death, hear the pangs of teenage suicide and witness the stage get demolished, but the audience is somehow left in a happy, uplifting mood. It's a joy, and sadly Robert Altman's final film. Final Grade: A


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