I’ll probably see it at some point after it comes out on DVD. I don’t see many movies in theaters. Curiousity, and fondness for Garrison, will probably make me see it, but what I’ve read about it doesn’t make me think that it will be all that much to my taste–and the great thing about the radio show is that I can listen while doing something else.
I used to like this show. Then it became a Phenomenon, and started acting like one. After that I found it mostly stale and forced, although it still has its moments. However, making it into a movie makes about as much sense as making it into a theme park.
I’m looking forward to it, although I’ll probably wait for the discount theater. I like a lot of the old-timey musical acts they have on PHC, and some of the humor now that Keillor has become a more outspoken liberal in the wake of G.W. Bush and Jesse Ventura. I’m definitely not the target audience for either the radio show or the movie, but I like it enough to give the movie a chance. Kevin Kline as Guy Noir is inspired casting, but I really wish they had kept the original choices of Tom Waits and Lyle Lovett as the cowboys Lefty and Dusty.
Isn’t it directed by Robert Altman? That alone makes me want to see it. I like PHC ok, I suppose–I don’t seek it out, but will keep it on, if I’m in the car etc. I like the music and I like the poetry.
I think the Swedish descent Lutheran schtick has been done to death. (WASP here, but still).
A Prairie Home Companion is a (real) weekly radio variety show, with jokes, skits and music (usually bluegrass/gospel/country/choral, something along those lines), as well as fake ads made to sound like old-time product sponsorships. Each show also includes an off-the-cuff monologue by the show’s creator, Garrison Keillor, about the fictional town of Lake Wobegon (about which he has also written several novels). The man can speak.
The movie is about a buyout of a radio station which has a show identical to the real A Prairie Home Companion. Because of the new owners, the show is ending. The movie goes backstage as well as on stage for the final show.
Part of the movie’s draw is the cast: Robert Altman directing, and Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, Kevin Kline, Maya Rudolph, John C. Reilly, Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Lindsay Lohan (for some reason), and the whole regular cast of the radio show (including an amazing sound effects guy).
Additionally, and this part’s probably of very limited interest, most of the movie is being shot in the Fitzgerald Theater, built in Saint Paul in 1910, which is where the (real) radio show is performed and recorded every week. Cool stuff.
Well, given that I went to see Prairie Home Companion live several times back when it was known as the World Theater-- knowing that the Fitzgerald Theater is where most of the movie takes place increases my interest.
My parents lived east of St. Paul and listened to Garrison on the Morning Show on Minnesota Public Radio before anyone ever had the idea for Prarie Home Companion.
I saw Prairie Home Companion at SXSW and enjoyed it. I’m not too familiar with the radio show, but I’ve enjoyed all of Altman’s stuff that I’ve seen, so I thought I’d give it a shot.
The plot is meandering and not much to speak of, but all the performances were great, both with the on-stage and behind stage action. The script was also very funny and well written (or I guess well improvised since it is an Altman movie) - I think I remember a few parts where you couldn’t hear one line because the whole theater was still laughing at the last line.
So I’ll say that in my opinion it is not Altman’s best, but I would recommend seeing it, especially to any fans of Altman or the Prairie Home Companion radio show.
I’ve been enough of a fan of the show off and on, and the movie cast and Altman to be interested, but it’s one of those could be great, could suck sorta things. I’m really hoping that the total will be greater than the sum of the parts and not the other way around.
Although I don’t usually read reviews for movies that interest me, for fear that all interest will be quashed, I have read some reviews for this one, and I’m impressed with what I’ve read. Most reviewers have said that even Lindsey Lohan does a good job – that Altman sure is something, huh? I think we’re going to see it; certainly we want to, at any rate.
Does it really have the regular actors? See, I didn’t hear that part, and I took offense on their behalf - the PHC actors are all very, very talented, and I was insulted for them that they were replaced by Hollywood stars (even Hollywood stars that I love). Felt like a slap in the face. But if the regular players are indeed in there, then that makes me feel better.
Will I see it? Dunno. I’m a fan, I listen to PHC every chance I get, and I grew up in Lake Wobegon (really! My hometown in Wisconsin is the one pictured on the front and back pages of the Lake Wobegon book - Keillor chose it from many town pictures because he thought Durand looked most like what Lake Wobegon would). That said, it hasn’t really captured me, tho’ the previews I’ve seen are funny.