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Nashville (4K Restoration)

Robert Altman

Robert Altman was a Hollywood outsider, a true original, and Nashville is perhaps his definitive work. Like his earlier masterpieces, McCabe & Mrs Miller and The Long Goodbye before it, Nashville takes a major American genre - the musical - and flips it on its head. Using the improvised dialogue and free-wheeling approach to narrative Altman pioneered in M*A*S*H* to its extreme, the film follows at least twenty-four major characters whose stories all intersect. To single any cast member out would be unfair, but Lily Tomlin, Henry Gibson, Geraldine Chaplin, Keith Carradine (whose song, 'I’m Easy' won an Oscar), and the late, great Ned Beatty are all on excellent form here. 

“…one of the high points of a truly great era of American cinema”

A viciously satirical but not entirely unaffectionate look at the capital of country music, Nashville perfectly captures the atmosphere of the city - a heartland of American conservativism - at a time where the growing counterculture is starting to knock at the door. As one might expect, the film is overflowing with music, all of which was performed live by the cast (who mainly wrote their own songs), with a bevvy of legendary session musicians backing them up.

The result is hugely ambitious, challenging, sprawling, and even a little chaotic. Altman, however, was never interested in perfection, and the messiness and loose-ends are part of the film's shaggy-dog charm. Nashville is rightly considered one of the high points of a truly great era of American cinema. 

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