Robert Altman

A Prairie Home Companion

Altman’s swansong is a funny, touching fable about the (fictional) closing-down of Garrison Keillor’s Minnesota radio variety show.

Image from A Prairie Home Companion

USA 2006
Dir Robert Altman
With Garrison Keillor, Meryl Streep, Lily Tomlin, Woody Harrelson, Tommy Lee Jones, Robin Williams
106min
35mm
Certificate PG

The slim storyline concerns the imminent closure of Garrison Keillor’s titular radio variety show when the Minnesota theatre it’s performed in is taken over by a Texan businessman (Jones); meanwhile a solicitous angel wanders the venue tuning into the performers’ thoughts and feelings. Elegiac, amusing and wise, Altman’s cinematic swansong offers an unsentimental take on ageing, death and the will to carry on having fun.