A Prairie Home Companion

Rated NR

Baby boomers, particularly in Minnesota, have tuned their radio dials to St. Paul’s WLT each week and enjoyed Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion for the past 32 years. But in this movie version, a Texas conglomerate has bought and transformed the Fitzgerald Theater, where the legendary show was performed. Now, Robert Altman—with his genius ability to direct multiple storylines of death, memories, love and loss—joins an ensemble cast to masterfully depict the radio show’s final performance. Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin impeccably play two folk-singing sisters who overlap dialogue to retell a complete story. Woody Harrelson and John C. Reilly play scruffy singing cowboys with guitars and endlessly bad jokes that will undoubtedly provoke laughter. In between skits and commercials for Powder Milk Biscuits and Rhubarb Pie, Kevin Kline embodies the film private investigator as Guy Noir; Virginia Madsen intrigues with her gliding and angelic ways as the “Dangerous Woman”; and Keillor plays himself with sweet sincerity in his red sneakers and matching red tie.

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