Last night and earlier this afternoon I saw Robert Altman’s Nashville. Aside from the really cool cover art, I knew next to nothing about the film. a quick Wikipedia search, and I really wanted to see it. I ordered the dvd off of Amazon.com, and I was blown away by this deep film about troubled Country Music stars. There really isn’t a bad performance throughout.
Reading on Wikipedia, it’s said that Roger Ebert pointed out that the BBC woman never shows credentials, and always says that her cameraman isn’t around. He said that she was probably just a groupie, and that’s probably true. Shelly Duvall’s character just wanted a free ride to mess around in Nashville, all the while her Uncle who picked her up, is really pissed off that she doesn’t want to see her dying Aunt. There’s many more characters like Henry Gibson’s aspiring politician, Karen Black’s Connie White who is the “in” singer, and then there’s Keith Carradine, Lily Tomlin, and Ronee Blakely who steal the movie.
Keith Carradine, who deservedly won the Oscar for Best Song for his amazing, and ironic song “I’m Easy.” plays a singer who is an asshole. He spends most of the time seducing women (Lily Tomlin is one he actively pursues) and trying to get away from the two people he formed a trio with previously.
Lily Tomlin is an aspiring singer, and has two deaf children. She is torn between her workaholic husband (brilliantly played by Ned Beatty) and Keith Carradine who uses his wiles to woo her.
Ronee Blakely sings wonderfully, and plays the tragic character Barbara Jean. The scene where she plays one song, and continuously interrupts the band each time she starts to sing a song, only to talk about nonsense is heartbreaking.
There’s a ton of characters in the movie. Some have just one purpose (a girl who gets her chance to shine at the end, is mostly on the run from her husband) some have one purpose, but really stand out (Jeff Goldblum has no lines, does magic, and rides around on a 3 wheel motorcycle taking characters sometimes from one scene to another.) and there’s some really sad characters (The girl who can’t sing and refuses to realize it, especially after her friend played by Robert DoQui tries to tell her so is just damn sad.) Then we have what could have been, (GARY BUSEY was up for the Keith Carradine role, and even wrote a song that is in the movie. Keith Carradine was perfect, but I can only imagine how Busey would have been in the movie)
This is only my 4th Altman film that I’ve seen. Dr. T And The Women, Gosford Park, and Popeye being the 3. I have to say, Nashville is my favorite. The many conversations going on all at once may strike off some viewers, but I found it fascinating and original. It’s definitely a movie that needs to be seen, and deserves a Criterion release. I would certainly double dip for it.
Rene’s song of the day: “I’m Easy” by Keith Carradine.
Thanks for reading my blog and see you next time.