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Overall Rating
4.49

Awesome72.55%
Worth A Look: 15.69%
Average: 3.92%
Pretty Bad: 3.92%
Total Crap: 3.92%

4 reviews, 27 user ratings


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Nashville
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by The Ultimate Dancing Machine

"Altmanicana at its best"
5 stars

"Nashville" begins with my favorite opening credit sequence of all time--a corny parody of mail-order-only record commercials--and the comic invention hardly flags in what may be Robert Altman's all-around best movie.

A virtually plotless film, Nashville traces the continually intersecting lives of some two dozen characters as they wander around Nashville, U.S.A., in the days leading up to a splashy political rally. With this varied palette, Altman produces one brilliant vignette after another, sketching the arc of entire lives with only a few brief strokes.

Rich in satirical texture, this is a movie whose high points simply cannot be agreed upon; everyone will have their favorite moments. Mine include Geraldine Chaplin (who, as the frivolous BBC correspondent, delivers what I consider the movie's best performance) wandering awestruck around around a junkyard as she recites a crack-brained monologue into her tape recorder; the fellow who admonishes himself for failing to recognize Elliott Gould and greeting him like an "ordinary" man; and there are many others.

Not everyone has approved of Nashville's scattershot method. For one, Paul Schrader, noting the film's lack of conventional character development, once dismissed Nashville as a "wading pool"--wide but not deep. But this, I think, misses the point. Altman is not here interested in depicting his characters "in the round" (though certain of his other films--3 Women comes to mind--prove he can do just that when he feels like it). That would have worked against the theme of the film, which I will be bold enough to summarize in one word: disconnection.

Nashville's characters do not develop because they cannot relate to one another, a trait, we are led to believe, which is more or less endemic to contemporary society. Everyone is trapped in his or her own world: Chaplin with her mindless enthusiasm for celebrities; Keith Carradine (as the sleazy musician) with his mania for polygamy; the ubiquitous wannabe President, whose paranoid rhetoric, which blares forth continuously from megaphones mounted on his tour bus, falls on indifferent ears. Conversations routinely trail off, are rudely interrupted. People bare their souls to others who simply aren't listening, or don't care. Two different scenes depict someone pretending to continue a phone call after the line has gone dead.

At the heart of Nashville is noise, ranging from the lovely ballads of the soundtrack to the endless chatter of its characters; and concluding finally in the non-sequitur violence of its finale (with Chaplin's querulous and all-too-typical wail, "Could somebody please tell me what happened?").

But the film's biggest merit is its wit. This is one really funny movie, and its satire is more sophisticated than nearly anything that has come out of Hollywood since, or will likely appear in the near future.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=2083&reviewer=223
originally posted: 02/26/02 21:19:58
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User Comments

7/27/13 Fire With Fire Altman shits on White Southerners,for 159 mins,in his usual murky,pretentious way 1 stars
4/02/13 David Hollingsworth one of the great films that made the 70s an iconic decade 5 stars
7/04/10 PAUL SHORTT INTRIGUING, ABSORBING AND ENTERTAINING 4 stars
8/10/09 Jeff Wilder One of Altman's masterpieces 5 stars
4/09/09 penthouse p easily one of the greatest movies of all time... 5 stars
1/26/08 proper amateur film critic terribly boring, lenghty and wildly over praised 2 stars
10/10/07 mr.mike overrated , and too many songs 3 stars
4/07/07 ken great movie...some of the songs are awful, not really country at all. I would call it folk. 5 stars
11/22/05 Kurtis J. Beard Altman is a genious. Nasville is his masterwork. Put two and two together. 5 stars
9/03/05 Jake THIS MOVIE IS A MASTERPIECE! IF YOU HATE THIS MOVIE, YOU ARE A RETARDED IDIOT! 5 stars
8/05/05 Nate Frary An interesting slice o' the times. I just didn't really care about any of the characters. 3 stars
8/03/05 Eric Rollins Boring and way too long. A real mess. 2 stars
1/14/05 The Crack A remarkable allegory for America as a whole during the seventies. 5 stars
10/03/04 Robert A Marvelous Abstract Canvas. 5 stars
8/30/04 DM Easily Altman's best film 5 stars
2/27/04 Betty White Rarely does a film entertain and lift your spirits come around like "Nashville". 5 stars
5/11/03 Dave K. One of the best - worth watching again and again 5 stars
4/26/02 Charles Tatum Altman's only decent film 5 stars
4/16/02 Phil M. Aficiando Hard work, but worth it. 1st time =3; second, with Altman comments =5. Grand old movie/opry 5 stars
8/27/01 spaceworm If you love Nashville, you lead a more satisfying life. 5 stars
4/23/01 Skip Young Ground-breaking. masterpiece. 5 stars
2/25/01 W. Sharif A two-hour and forty-minute episode of Hee Haw! But, it's good 4 stars
1/23/01 Craig Steven Lesser This movie was awful!!! If you are an insomniac, rent this movie. You'll be able to sleep 1 stars
11/11/00 matthew smith a delight from start to finish, great characters 5 stars
11/08/00 Elvisfan Along w/"Exorcist", the movie that made me love movies 5 stars
11/05/00 Pierce Lanson Oh come on!! Has nobody else seen this classic?? 5 stars
11/03/00 Bill Neal One of the best movies of all time!! A true classic!! Not to be missed.. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  01-Dec-1977 (R)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  05-Oct-2000 (M)


Directed by
  Robert Altman

Written by
  Joan Tewkesbury

Cast
  David Arkin
  Barbara Baxley
  Ned Beatty
  Karen Black
  Ronee Blakley
  Timothy Brown



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