Sunday, December 14, 2008

A Prairie Home Companion

What a strange movie. I find that Garrison Keillor has a real hand for the short story, but for some reason, his longer stories feel so thin -- they don't seem to hang together well. The difference is hard to understand. The story of how this movie came about is interesting -- Garrison wanted to do it, and had Robert Altman in mind as a director. Altman's wife heard about it, and was such a big fan of the show, she convinced him to do it. Once Altman was attached to the project, all kinds of stars were willing to get on board. The story, though, feels strangely improvised -- an unconvincing mix of fantasy and reality, where none of the characters seem to matter that much. Still, it had a homey, homemade quality that I always like. And Lily Tomlin can make anything okay.

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