Thursday, November 18, 2010

Home on the Prairie

Robert Altman's final film was the utterly delightful - if ultimately somber and melancholy - A Prairie Home Companion; a look at both behind and in front of the scenes of a production of Garrison Keillor's A Prairie Home Companion. I was not really aware of the radio show before Altman's film - a movie that featured sublime performances from Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Woody Harrelson and Lindsay Lohan amongst others - but its mix of well-written songs and laugh out loud comedy routines, my interest was instantly piqued.

This coming weekend should be a treat for older and newer fans alike as the actual A Prairie Home Companion radio show, staged in front of a live audience, was filmed and is receiving a limited release. Check the Sharmill Films website to see if it's playing near you. If you're a fan of the show then I'm sure you'll get plenty of enjoyment out of it. It's probably too long - something like two and a half hours, perhaps longer when you include the unessential prologue - but there are plenty of entertaining and fun performances from Keillor, the beautiful Sara Watkins, the infectious country of Black Crow Medicine Show and the hilarious voice actors of Tom Keith and Fred Newman (they're like Michael Winslow in Police Academy, but, ya know, not an actor in Police Academy). You could certainly do worse for entertainment this weekend.

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