A Prairie Home Companion
Autumn 2006 Main series
Sunday, September 17, 2006 at 4:00pm
Sunday, September 17, 2006 at 7:00pm
Monday, September 18, 2006 at 7:00pm
Directed by Robert Altman
Starring Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, Garrison Keillor, Kevin Kline, Lindsay Lohan, Virginia Madsen, John C. Reilly, Maya Rudolph, Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin
Rated NR ·
The quintessential independent American filmmaker, Robert Altman’s insightful and masterly films — often characterized by a roving camera and intimate character portraits — was honoured this Spring when the five-time Oscar nominee received a lifetime achievement Oscar from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. His recent films Gosford Park and The Company have only affirmed his outstanding and lasting contribution to cinema. His latest film, A Prairie Home Companion, combines Altman’s cinematic style, intelligence and penchant for improvisation with co-writer Garrison Keillor’s love of song and storytelling. In typical Altman fashion, the film boasts a gifted ensemble cast in a series of extraordinary acting turns, including Woody Harrelson (The People vs. Larry Flyn), Tommy Lee Jones (Men in Black), Kevin Kline (De-Lovely), Virginia Madsen (Sideways), John C. Reilly (Chicago), Lily Tomlin (I Heart Huckabees) and Meryl Streep (The Hours). A Prairie Home Companion follows the backstage antics during the final broadcast of America’s most popular radio show, which is being shut down after thirty years on the air.
A fictionalized account of Garrison Keillor’s real radio show, heard on United States public radio stations coast to coast for the past quarter-century (and which, in real life, continues to broadcast), A Prairie Home Companion was shot entirely in St. Paul, Minnesota’s Fitzgerald Theater, except for the opening and closing scenes which take place in a nearby diner. Keillor himself stars in the role of the show’s hangdog emcee. Featuring singing cowboys (Harrelson and Reilly), a down-and-out private eye (Kline), a country music diva (Streep) and her suicide-obsessed daughter (Lindsay Lohan, Mean Girls), an angel (Madsen), and many interweaving storylines involving secrets, strangers and power struggles, A Prairie Home Companion is Robert Altman at his best.