Premiere - 06/01/2006 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "[A] loose-limbed, almost cheerily elegiac picture that convincingly creates its own strange and familiar world."
Rolling Stone - 06/15/2006 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Take your time and relax into a movie that's as comfy as Keillor's pillowy baritone....There's magic in it."
Los Angeles Times - 06/09/2006
"Altman uses his trademark wandering camera to mosey from character to character, pausing to watch and listen as they tease one another, reminisce about the old days, [and] worry about the future..."
New York Times - 06/09/2006
"[T]he movie snuggles deep into the mood and sensibility of its source, Garrison Keillor's long-running radio variety show....It's just wonderful."
Total Film - 02/01/2007 3 stars out of 5 -- "PRAIRIE is a gentle movie, set primarily in Minnesota's Fitzgerald Theatre, the real home of the radio show."
Rolling Stone - 12/28/2006 Ranked #10 in Rolling Stone's "The 10 Best Movies Of 2006" -- "The cast, led by the incomparable Meryl Streep and Lily Tomlin, glow under Altman's playful watch."
Film Comment - 01/01/2007 Ranked #18 in Film Comment's "20 Best Films Of 2006."
Film Comment - 01/01/2007
"[Set within a] heartland of boundless creativity and calm stoicism."
Uncut - 02/01/2007 4 stars out of 5 -- "[T]his is a lovely curtain call, as wry and irascible as his best films, but warmer and more celebratory than most."
Sight and Sound - 03/01/2007
"This is one of Altman's trademark all-star ensemble pieces, full of his equally trademark overlapping dialogue, his camera floating amiably in seemingly improvised style from group to group."
Uncut - 08/01/2007 3 stars out of 5 -- "Robert Altman's final film is a wry meditation on death and the inevitable passing of all things."
Chicago Sun-Times - 11/12/2008
"[A] lovely film about a lovely radio show. It loosely creates the format of the real program....Altman has chosen his actors with love."
Cleverly adapted from the long-running radio series, A PRAIRIE HOME COMPANION is a comedy-musical tour de force written by PRAIRIE host Garrison Keillor and directed by Oscar-winning auteur Robert Altman. Keillor stars as a fictional version of himself, leading his guests through what might be the end of an era: corporate bigwigs have bought the Fitzgerald Theater, where the radio show is aired live, so the cast and crew are dedicated to putting on one great final show before their longtime home meets the wrecking ball. Altman alternates between backstage intrigue and the classic, old-time music being played in front of a dedicated audience, mixing fact with fiction in humorous and poignant ways. Among the performers are sister act the Johnson Girls--Yolanda (Meryl Streep), Rhonda (Altman regular Lily Tomlin), and Yolanda's daughter, Lola (Lindsay Lohan)--aged folkster Chuck Akers (L.Q. Jones), who is having a torrid sexual relationship with the lunch lady (Marylouise Burke); the raunchy duo of singing cowpokes, Dusty (Woody Harrelson) and Lefty (John C. Reilly); and real PRAIRIE contributors Jearlyn Steele, Robin and Linda Williams, and the Guys All-Star Shoe Band, led by Richard Dworsky. As the show goes on, bumbling private detective and security chief Guy Noir (Kevin Kline) pratfalls his way through an investigation of a mysterious woman in white (Virginia Madsden) while awaiting the arrival of the Axeman (Tommy Lee Jones), the corporate honcho ready to close the show down. Meanwhile, pregnant stage manager Molly (Maya Rudolph) tries to keep things moving smoothly despite almost insurmountable odds. The outstanding soundtrack features both old and new songs (as well as fabulous commercial jingles) written by Keillor and others and actually performed by the diverse, talented cast, including such numbers as "Gold Watch & Chain," "Old Plank Road," "My Minnesota Home," and "Red River Valley."
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