Modelled after the real-life show of the same name, “A Prairie Home Companion” is a radio show broadcast live by a local radio station in Minnesota every Saturday. According to Guy Noir, the programme’s security director, it’s been around “since Jesus was in third grade.” The show, funded by ads paid for by local businesses, is conceived and hosted by entertainer Garrison Keillor. But not for long. On the night before the station is to be sold, his crew get together again to talk about old times, make country music and tell bad jokes like always. Hardly anyone notices the blonde woman in the white trench coat who seems to be floating around back stage – only the watchful eye of the security director catches her. But who is she?
Robert Altman’s last film contains everything that defined the master: his sure-footed control of large ensemble casts, his elegant staging of the same events from two different perspectives and his unfailing feel for anachronistic phenomena, portrayed here with ironically tinged nostalgia.
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