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Following 24 characters through 5 days in the country music capital, Robert Altman's 1975 epic presents a complexly textured portrayal (and critique) of American obsessions with celebrity and power. Among the various stars, aspirants, hangers-on, observers, and media folk are politically ambitious country icon Haven Hamilton (Henry Gibson) and his fragile star protegée Barbara Jean (Ronee Blakley); Tom (Keith Carradine), a self-absorbed rock star who woos lonely married gospel singer Linnea Reese (Lily Tomlin); Sueleen Gay (Gwen Welles), a talentless waitress painfully humiliated at her first singing gig; Albuquerque (Barbara Harris), a runaway wife with dreams of stardom; nightclub owner Lady Pearl (Barbara Baxley), who reminisces about "those Kennedy boys"; single-minded groupie L.A. Joan (Shelley Duvall); vapid BBC commentator Opal (Geraldine Chaplin); and campaign guru John Triplette (Michael Murphy), who is trying to organize a concert rally for the unseen but always heard populist presidential candidate-cum-demagogue Hal Phillip Walker. Everything comes to a head during a climactic concert at Nashville's replica of the Parthenon temple, as the entertainment-hungry audience is momentarily woken out of its stupor by unexpected violence, only to be lulled into a restorative sing-along to "It Don't Worry Me."
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes
- Reviews Counted: 42
- Fresh: 40
- Rotten: 2
- Average Rating: 8.6/10
Top Critics' Reviews
Fresh: It's a film that a lot of other directors will wish they'd had the brilliance to make.
Fresh: Nashville is one of Altman's best films, free of the rambling insider fooling around that sometimes mars entire chunks of every second or third picture.
Fresh: I think that the power and the theme of the film lie in the fact that while some characters are more "major" than others, they are all subordinated to the music itself. It's like a river, running through the film, running through their life.
Fresh: I hate to go out on a limb after only one viewing, but Nashville strikes me as Altman's best film, and the most exciting dramatic musical since Blue Angel.
A wonderful movie,, a dead on picture of America. Prophetic in its time. (Think 1980--won't spoil the plot). Still resonates today.
always liked this movie
I would like to rent this movie, to see if it is as I remember. While there are funny and affecting parts, there are parts so sad that I could never see it as a comedy. My favorite part "I'm Easy", is both romantic and sad.
Honest and transfixing
This film is two hours and forty minutes long. Nearly half of that is musical. I don't think I've ever seen a film that's used music as effectively as Nashville -- to set the tone and to portray the relationship between characters or a character's feelings, ambitions, and desires when words alone don't suffice. There are 24 named characters and weaving plotlines, but the story does not get confusing, and the film feels like an honest recollection of a period of American history in a unique location, as well as a satire of and loving tribute to the country music scene. With humor, heartbreak, and politics, this is one of my favorite films.