Thursday, February 26, 2009


I just watched Robert Altman's Nashville. Ok, so everyone else on the planet has seen this movie already, but I have a special knack for not having seen all the things that everyone else has seen. I'm slowly catching up on my quota of pop cultural touchstone movies in my time in floating prisons.

Prior to this, the only Altman movie that I know I've seen (I'm sure somewhere along the way I've seen some others but just don't remember or recognize as his; I'm that kind of opposite of a movie buff) was Prairie Home Companion. I've heard a few people pan that movie; they are morons. Perhaps I could be kinder and say perhaps they didn't get it because they weren't familiar with the radio show the movie was based on. Some of the characters like Guy Noir only really make sense if you know the show, but even if elements of it play better to a familiar audience, the over-all feel of the movie was heart breaking (in a good way). I totally cried when the old fellow died. That movie along with Mean Girls totally forgives anything stupid Lindsay Lohan does for a long time coming. Her interactions with Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin were spot on.

I like Lily Tomlin in anything. How could you not? Out of a cast of 24 characters followed throughout the film, you'd think she could get lost in there somehow, but during the scene where she goes to the club to see Keith Carradine the entire movie becomes about her. She doesn't say a word, but when he sang and she looks on everyone else is knocked out of the picture. He's the hot (and how!) rock star womanizer, singing out to a crowd including at least three other women he's been sleeping with who all to some degree think his song is about them, and I'm sure it was intentionally meant to be ambiguous and in that way not to any of them any more than all of them and every other girl he's chased but watching her, it isn't just about any girl. If it wasn't meant to be before he started singing it, it becomes Lily's character's song in that moment. It becomes their movie, a love story.

And then she breaks his heart. Which we (they) knew would happen. He might have thought it would be the other way around, as he used up and pushed away all the other girls throwing themselves at him (except Shelly Duvall's character, L.A. Joan, who was rude as hell but absolutely unflappable), but he's finally found a woman he can love: one who can't be with him and won't and leaves before he can want her to.

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