Tuesday, January 13, 2015
IMDb plot summary: Over the course of a few hectic days, numerous interrelated people prepare for a political convention as secrets and lies are surfaced and revealed.
Directed by Robert Altman. Starring Ronee Blakley, Keith Carradine, Geraldine Chaplin, Henry Gibson, Michael Murphy, Lily Tomlin, and a lot of other people.
Robert Altman and I have had a bit of a tricky relationship. I've seen five of his -- I really liked two and really disliked the other three. This one falls somewhere in the middle. It's unfair to complain about the abundance of country music in this one, that'd be like those people who complain about the amount of singing in Into the Woods, but as I'm not even a little bit interested in country music, I did find myself really uninterested in large parts of the movie. Altman clearly enjoys showcasing the music, and I'm sure I'd love that if it wasn't a genre I already feel very distanced from.
The second problem is the bigger one. With so many characters and so much music, I don't feel like we really got a chance to learn who any of them are. In a movie that's nearly three hours long, I'd expect to get some pretty solid character development, but all that we get are tiny snapshots spread out so far apart that I forget what's been going on with that character previously by the time we get back around to them. The few characters that are intriguing enough to follow, I got frustrated that they only got like 10 minutes of plot over the course of two hours and 40 minutes. I know this is Altman's thing, big ensemble casts, and I really liked it in Short Cuts... but it didn't work for me at all here.
Flickchart: #1217 out of 2297, below Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory and above Wedding Crashers.