Nov 8, 2006

DVD Review: A Prairie Home Companion

A Prairie Home Companion
New Line Cinema

A Prairie Home Companion is a look at the final broadcast of an old fashioned radio variety show--based, of course, on Garrison Keillor's actual show of the same name, which continues to go strong.

The film has something in it for both fans and non-fans of the homespun radio program from which it takes its inspiration. Director Robert Altman gives us a look at the people behind the show, in all their eccentric glory. As it often the case with Altman’s films, APHC is not so much about a central story as it is about the interactions behind the scenes. I would like to point out that there is some delightfully dark aspects that I had not expected from Keillor.

I found the film fascinating as it brings together an amazing cast and allows them to make their characters their own. The heavy lifting is left to Meryl Streep, with Kevin Kline providing some wonderful comedic moments. If you are looking for a film in which the story is king, this is not for you. If you enjoy rich, multi-faceted characters and like the journey as much as the destination, APHC will draw you in and enthrall you.

The special features are nothing beyond the usual, but some of the backstage interaction is interesting, particularly between Altman and Keillor.

Jeremy Lynch


Anonymous said...

Mr Woodstock and I saw this in the theater a few months ago, and were absolutely delighted. For all the reasons you mentioned in your review. I'm not sure where I heard this, probably on the actual radio show, but Keillor has written a short and wistful little poem about Meryl Streep and receiving a kiss from her. If you stick with the DVD long enough and watch all the credits, it looks to me like the kiss was not scripted and he was genuinely surprised. It was a nice little touch, I thought. Lily Tomlin very nearly walks away with the whole movie.

Unknown said...

Judy and I both liked this one a lot. And if you don't expect a little darkness from Keillor, you haven't read his novels. It's there, for sure.

MysterLynch said...

Never read Mr. Keillor. I love Minnesota Public Radio, but just can't get into the radio show.

My dislike of country music and Bluegrass might have something to do with it.