D: Robert Altman
Paramount/ABC (Robert Altman)
US 1975
161 mins


W: Joan Tewkesbury
DP: Paul Lohmann
Ed: Sidney Levin & Dennis M. Hill

Ronee Blakely (Barbara Jean), Timothy Brown (Tommy Brown), Geraldine Chaplin (Opal), David Arkin (Norman), Barbara Baxley (Lady Pearl), Ned Beatty (Delbert Reese), Karen Black (Connie White), Keith Carradine (Tom Frank), Shelley Duvall (Martha), Allen Garfield (Barnett), Henry Gibson (Haven Hamilton), Scott Glenn (Pfc. Kelly), Barbara Harris (Winifred), David Hayward (Kenny Frasier), Michael Murphy (John Triplette), Lily Tomlin (Linnea Reese), Gwen Welles (Sueleen Gay), Keenan Wynn (Mr. Green)

A massive slice of the American heartland in Robert Altman's usual style of multi-layered story strands.
In the build-up to a presidential election, a politician organises a huge musical concert in Nashville, the home of country, folk and gospel music.
This kaleidoscopic compendium brings together over 20 different characters and their stories, some of which are more interesting than others, while a handful of incidental characters brings the entire piece together.
Nashville presents some great songs and some brilliant performances, most notably from Keith Carradine, Henry Gibson, Lily Tomlin, Gwen Welles and Ronee Blakely.
It's a film which will either be seen as pretentious borefest or a magnificent mosaic, depending not only on your taste but also on your mood, but those who do enjoy it will feel the necessity to watch it again and look for the clues which unfold towards the downbeat ending.
It's probably best viewed as an allegory for America of the 20th century, released at a time when the American people needed it most, following defeat in the Vietnam War and the political distrust amid the Watergate scandal.