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Review Written by: Estefan Ellison
Film: A+
What the MPAA Rating should be: PG (for brief language and a bit of sexual content)

Directed by: Robert Altman
Written by: Joan Tewkesbury
Produced by: Robert Altman
Starring: Henry Gibson, Keith Carradine, Geraldine Chaplin, Lily Tomlin, Ned Beatty, Ronee Blakley
Studio: Paramount Pictures

Robert Altman's way of directing has always interested me. I first found out about how he directed his film when watching a documentary on the Gosford Park DVD. He said that he doesn't use the script, because he believes that the director doesn't need to. He just lets the actors get into the characters and even when they don't have any lines, they are to talk just like their character would. Of course, this has disappointed his writers, most notably Ring Lardner Jr., who wrote MASH. However, thinking about it, would Altman's films be as good if he used the script. The aforementioned Gosford Park and MASH are both great films, but his crowning achievement is 1975's Nashville. Following the lives of over twenty character, this picture would most likely go on to inspire the likes of Paul Thomas Anderson and Paul Haggis.

Nashville follows the lifes of many characters in a couple of days in the famous haven of country music. The biggest story involves a famous singer who lies in hospital after a tragic fall. There's also a reporter from the BBC who has come to make a documentary about Nashville. A gospel singer is bored with her life, while her husband tries to get his presedential candidate elected. There is also a singer attempting to rejuvanate his career and another singer who has every girl in town fall in love with him. All of this and more leads up to the musical rally that ends the film on a tragic note.

What could possibly by Robert Altman's greatest film, it also features a wonderful ensemble. Geraldine Chaplin probably gives the best performance out of them all and she is so great, you forget that she is the daughter of the Little Tramp. Lily Tomlinm's Oscar-nominated role is also magnificient and proves how great she is when working with Altman. Out of the male performers, it is Henry Gibson who is the best giving a nuanced and worrisome performance as the lead cowboy of the flick. The actors did more than just act, because they also wrote the songs for the film with the hit "I'm Easy" being the best of them all. Joan Tewkesbury's screenplay is very well-written, although knowing most of the original draft probably didn't make the final cut. I have always found ensemble pieces to be the best and Nashville obviously ranks among the top with Magnolia and MASH.

Director Robert Altman on the set of Nashville.
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