Altman’s final film imagines the final performance of the eponymous live radio show were its Mid-West theatre about to be demolished. The delicious script is by Garrison Keillor, who is the comp&egravere just as for the real-life show. The cast, including Meryl Streep, Lindsay Lohan, Lily Tomlin, Woody Harrelson and Kevin Kline, becomes a typical Altman community, and with Tommy Lee Jones as the slightly Bergmanesque Axeman, “representing the investors”, it’s tempting to believe Altman saw this as his swansong. “What a lovely film this is, so gentle and whimsical, so simple and profound” (Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times). (105 mins)
Dir: Robert Altman, USA 2006


“A brilliant start to the season!”

“Terrific start to the season. I loved it!”

“A good start – definitely a filme noire [sic].”

“A pleasantly wacky start to the season.”

“Altman bows out, still at the top of his game! Perfect casting.”

“Wonderful – loved every minute.”

“Loved it! Don’t know if I laughed or cried more!”

“Funny, sad, wacky – altogether great.”

“Brilliant in so many different ways; scary, funny and touching. A really amazing film – I’ve never seen anything like it. A sad lesson in the penalties of not adapting (to change), alas.”

“Just as inspired as Lake Woebegone.”

“Cliched, hammy, touching, poignant and funny.”

“Wonderful nostalgia: GK was amazing! Very funny (even) in the presence of Death.”

“Very attractive to watch, especially the faces (of the characters). Lots of lovely individual performances.”

“A gem of a film but a wimp of an angel.”

“All good fun and jolly good company.”

“So bad it was brilliant – I loved every minute.”

“I loved the bad jokes.”

“I thought GK specialised in a wry but sympathetic treatment of mid-West naivety but (and this was really scary) uncovering the darkness underneath. Something of Noises Off, (combined) with some J.B. Priestley?”

“The start was very confusing – I nearly decided to walk out. Some catchy tunes.”

“Nice film – shame about the ‘music’.”

“Some good jokes, some fun stories but dire and mawkish music. Not really a fitting swansong.”

“Tedious muddle not quite rescued by some hilarious moments.”


A:33, B:11, C:7, D:1, E:0 to give 87%