I consider myself a fairly smart cookie. But I have recently been confounded. When director Robert Altman died in Novemember NPR simply gushed with praise for his cinematic work. I was intrigued. I had been meaning to put Prairie Home Companion in my Netflix queue, simply because I like the radio program so much...and Meryl Streepe. I went one step further and put Altman's much touted Nashville in the queue as well.
I have now watched both films.
I am now very confused as to what the excitement is about.
Prairie Home Companion was palletable because I know the radio show and the cast was fantastic. How can you beat Kevin Klein as Guy Noir? Or Meryl Streepe and Lilly Tomlin as singing sisters? Or John C. Reilly and Woody Harrelson as Dusty & Lefty (or Lefty and Dusty, though it doesn't really matter, they come as a pair either way). There was music and sketches, which I enjoyed, but there was also the Angel of Death and plot that meandered but didn't go anywhere...and also Lindsay Lohan, who I enjoy on the pages of People Magazine, but not in a real movie. Paul watched half and was disinterested enough to leave off at that.
Last night we watched Nashville. Again, there was music, which I enjoy. I especially enjoy cheesey bad country music and there was plenty to go around. But there was also this cast of thousands whose stories intersected randomly and whose characters were half developed and a shred of a plot that left all questions half-asked and totally unanswered at the end. Two hours in (and ready for bed) we laughed that it might go on forever because the story wasn't building toward anything at all.
Someone please tell me what I'm missing here.